The world’s trends are ever-changing from clothes we wear to the lifestyle we follow. One thing we see in common from the past times is the craze for makeup in women. From the coal winged eyes of ancient Egyptians to the lead paint worn by Elizabethans, women have been experimenting with makeup throughout the history of human civilization. The Chinese and Japanese commonly used rice powder to make their face look fairer. The development in the makeup products started in the 18th century in New York, when David McConnell founded his Company “California Perfume Company”. The company we know today as “Avon”. Paris brought the “flapper look” in the 19th century that gave a new definition to makeup- bold lips, dark eyes, red nail paints, which was noted as a fashion statement by Coco Chanel. With time, the definition of makeup kept changing. Powders, creams, hair products and skincare became a daily use necessity in the 20th century.
But, the trends have changed in the 21st century. Today, the makeup industry is so flourishing that it is a very successful profession and people are inclined to join it. Makeup is more than enhancing your appearance or looking good. Fine makeup is like art. One can be creative with different colours, textures, application techniques and it gives you the power to express yourself as you please. Your face is a canvas and the products are the paints. There are so many buying options in the market with every price range that getting your hands on makeup is not a big deal. The disparity of only a class of women using makeup is removed. If you visit street markets like Sarojini Nagar in Delhi, Crawford Market in Mumbai and Gariahat Market in Kolkata, you will find products starting at Rs. 50/- which is affordable to women of every class. Even the house help these days, goes to work with a line of Kohl and a colour on her lip because it makes her look beautiful. The enthusiasm is much more in working professionals. They are more cautious about their looks and are willing to invest their time and money in keeping up with good looks. Such is the power of makeup! And why not use it, right? If a product helps us conceal the parts, we’re not confident about and enhance the ones we have, it sure is a boon for us.
It is also seen that nowadays, makeup is not women-centred. We often find men on social media, who paint their nails and conceal their dark circles. The trend of makeup is slowly becoming gender-neutral. Generally, too, all the drool-worthy men we see in the movies are always in makeup. Our society, especially India is taking its time to accept this commonly in its people. The credit for the buzz of makeup goes to the beauty pageants and the modelling shows that are happening throughout the world. The advent of the International Beauty Pageant was in 1888. During that time, contests were held to see who is the fairest amongst all. And this is how the beauty standard was made all about the colour of skin. And we, as a civilization have been struggling with that for decades. The Colour of skin is considered the basis of looking beautiful. But, now it’s changing. The Cosmetic Companies have to take down the word “Fair” from their products. Today, people understand that beauty is more than just your colour, and makeup is needed only if you want to use it.
It is observed that people feel more confident when they’re wearing makeup. And why not? It makes us look flawless. Some see it as their transformation, putting them on a higher seat of confidence. The reason why the makeup industry is so flourishing today is that it allows you to create something new with your face while removing the perceived flaws. We all have seen the before-after pictures of makeup and some of the results are shocking. It’s insane how much makeup can change our appearance.
But is it a good thing for us?
Well, it depends.
The healthy way of using makeup is to enhance the features you have and not turn into something you’re not. It is commonly seen that today the brides look like an angel dropped out of the sky but when you see her during her normal days, she has an altogether different face. Well, looking your best on the most special day of your life is all that a woman wants, but these “flawless face” trends have become an obsession in young women these days. Women have been spending fortunes on makeup products. They sign up for makeup courses that cost a whopping 1 Lakh. Beauty standards have shifted to glowing skin and people are very particular about their skincare and products they use.
The fashion industry with glowing, shimmery faces is the reason why girls compare themselves to these models on Instagram or glossy magazines. It can make girls feel insecure if they’re not wearing makeup, and much worse- ugly without it. Such feelings make women dependent on makeup. Today, it is a constant battle between the beauty standards we are fed on social media and how we look. What we’re not told is the hours of efforts they put in to get the “perfect look”. We’re not told the picture editing that happens before every post. We’re not told that those models share the same insecurities with us.
Of course, putting a winged liner, false lashes and glitter eye-shadow is the love of almost every woman but these things shouldn’t be relied upon to feel worthy. It’s a cliché, but your unique power is you. That is your beauty and it sets you apart from all others. You don’t have full lips? No problem, maybe you have big pretty eyes. Maybe you’re not satisfied with your skin, but your hair is the most shining and thickest of the others. Maybe you don’t have on-point eyebrows, but you’ve got a smile anyone could kill for.
The main purpose here is not to let makeup define you. You don’t need makeup to feel pretty. If you want to do it, it’s great but do not do it as a necessity because you feel less confident about yourself. The makeup industry is not without faults, so don’t let the socially rooted standards of today’s world change you. Because there’s no such thing as perfection and it’s okay not to be perfect.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author