Is Makeup Anti-Feminist?

As I was discussing my project with Julie, which involves a makeup brand engaging in some kind of multi-modal campaign that revolves around female empowerment, I found myself stopping short as I was speaking. I was talking about how the brands motto was all about real women, “beauty in real life,” can be found on their homepage. And then it goes on to say that there products are “for what girls need in real life.” Which really got me thinking. How can a brand, that appears on all other fronts to be empowering women, who has a blog that interviews strong women, be empowering if it is arguing that makeup is something that women need. Is makeup something women “need” for themselves? Or is makeup something women “need” to look appealing to men? While I can say all I want that wearing makeup makes me feel strong or sexy or the prettiest version of myself, am I really wearing it because our patriarchal society tells me I’m ugly if I decide not to? And by this logic, is it impossible for makeup brands to really empower women, because the very nature of their existence is reliant on women’s consumption of makeup? I’m not sure where I stand on the subject to be honest, and I’m by no means boycotting my mascara, but it’s definitely a concept that made me feel slightly uneasy about my project endeavor… to be continued….

Sophie Burton

Sophomore in LSA, from Minnesota. I love yoga and sea salt truffles.

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