As a relatively ‘butch’ lesbian, I often get asked about why I wear make-up. Questions such as “if you dress like a man why are you wearing make-up?” circulate through many a social gathering and it can be infuriating. Of course this is also irritating as it suggests only women wear make-up, when in fact men look just as fabulous with a bit of eyeliner! But why does any woman (or man, but focussing on the girls) wear make-up? Mostly, the reason is either that they think it looks pretty, or that it makes them feel more confident. I myself, wear it for the latter. A simple touch of foundation and mascara can make someone with incredibly low self-esteem feel able to go out and face a world full of, in their opinion, much more attractive people.
I know many a person, both male and female; gay and straight, who think make-up is purposeless. They say “if it’s not noticeable what’s the point in wearing it?” but that is the point. The fact it can be as subtle or bold as you choose is the point. It is your choice, and no one else’s. Whether you wear bright lipstick, thick eyeliner and neon eyeshadow or just some concealer, you can choose what to put on your face and why you do it.
The issues surrounding make-up echo those of why women wear certain clothes – some say women wear short skirts or low tops for men, but most wear them simply to feel attractive and confident. The same goes for make-up. Although yes, it is deemed by society that wearing make-up is ‘normal’ and yes, it is bad that from a young age girls are taught to ‘cover up their flaws’ it is still ultimately your decision. I for one am fed up of being told I shouldn’t be wearing make-up because it doesn’t match my clothes or it’s pointless, I want to so I bloody well will. I have the right to wear make-up just as someone does to not wear make-up. What they do not have the right to do is make someone feel cheap or stupid for wearing make-up just because they think it is unnecessary.