A friend of mine often tells me how happy he is that we were born in the 90s. Not only were we raised in a pre-cellphone era, but we also grew with the internet into adults along with a lot of hefty technological advancements.
But alas, with great power and privilege comes pain and great responsibility. As humans, I think that our responsibility is to do the obvious, yes, like create a better world for further generations but to also live the kind of life that we are all proud of. Somehow, I cannot help but think that we have failed in that respect for the past decade or so. Ten years ago I was 13 so perhaps I didn't notice it then, but what can I say? As a human and particularly as a woman, I feel that society has digressed into a cocoon of superficiality.
In a Women's History course I took last semester, I read an article about how since the 1900s, there has been a model created by various companies to lure every kind of woman of every socioeconomic status to makeup. There are particular marketing campaigns launched to appeal to every kind of woman. We are targeted, all of us.
After reading this article, a question arose in my mind: Do we really wear makeup to empower ourselves or do we wear it because we feel we must adhere to society's unattainable standard of beauty?
Me personally, I didn't start wearing makeup on an almost daily basis till I started college. I started slow; a little eyeliner and some shadow. Then came the mascara. Can I just say that mascara is like a fucking monster? A fucking lovely jet black monster that makes your eyes look they were the inspiration for Disney princesses? Anyhow, now, four years since I first started caring about makeup, I am worse and I don't feel empowered.
I do my eyebrows and worry about whether my face is flawless or not and when it isn't I don't particularly feel good about myself. Unfortunately, it just so happens to be that women are paid more attention when they are "dolled up." And you can quote Drake as much as you like, "Sweat pants, hair tied chillin' wit no makeup on, that's when you're the prettiest hope that you don't take it wrong." There are very few men that actually mean this statement and choose to stay once the mask comes off. Because, on some reaaaaaal shit, do you know how much effort it takes for a woman to look natural? Uh, yeah. Think about it. We don't wake up looking like beauty queens.
The new year, however, brought in a new sense of being, a new sense of living for me. I started focusing on bettering my diet and feeling good from the inside out by going to the gym. Five months later, I am confident enough to go out without makeup on and feeling better about everything I do. And hey, just a couple days ago, a very attractive guy attempted to hit on me at the gym when I had no makeup on but I felt so good and empowered that I walked away form him. It isn't the makeup that makes me feel empowered, it's knowing that I can control my body. That I can bring about change within myself.
Alright, so there's this issue of makeup. But what issue came prior to that? You got it, body size. Let's all be 102 lbs. no matter our genetic makeup or bone structure. Right. I read this article today and saw this video that made me sick. Apparently, the gap that some people have between their thighs is now known as something, "magical."
Hold up. Magical?! Fine if you have it, but why does everything need to be turned into something that we all need to have to feel beautiful, to be deemed sexy, to feel good about ourselves? Women have enough superficial nonsense to demoralize themselves about already, why create mysticism where there is none? The video is a piece of contradictory bull.
Although I'm glad that I'm a 90s baby for many reasons (yes, N Sync and American Pie movies are two of them), I'm still left wondering what happened to our generation. I try to empower women around me but what's really happening? Are we really digressing or are we taking things too personally, too...literally?
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