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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Maybe she’s born with it, but probably not: we’re all plain Janes

English: A human eye with mascara on the eyelashes
English: A human eye with mascara on the eyelashes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every morning I use eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, foundation, an eyelash curler, lip gloss, powder, and bronzer. I straighten my hair, bleach my roots, use fake tanner, and whiten my teeth. This doesn’t make me any better than girls who do more or less to their appearances.

Our society (though I’m reluctant to use such a general term) has given makeup too much power. It is a dual-edged sword (or mascara wand) of insecurity and shortfalls. Some girls feel obligated to wear it, insisting they are “ugly” or “look bad” without it. Other girls who don’t wear it and are content in their appearance may feel unrightly thought of as lazy or uncaring. Maybe a friend commented on a rare instance of mascara use, suggesting you wear it more often. Now you feel less beautiful without it. Whichever category you fall into – and there are more than two – there is an important mindset you need to develop (or maybe just recognize that you already have) concerning makeup.


Backtracking a bit, at the end of the day every item I use to enhance my appearance washes off. I go to bed with undefined eyes, pale skin, wet crazy hair, and retainers. Most girls don’t wear makeup every moment of their lives, so at some point you’ll face yourself (or if you don’t wear it, someone else) without it.

You need to be okay with that.

This is the mindset I mentioned. I can’t emphasize how important it is to accept that underneath however much makeup you wear, there exists beneath that mask your natural face. It isn’t ugly, and doesn’t look bad. It’s just plain.

If I went out without makeup, I doubt anyone would notice me. I mean that two ways: no one would give me a second glance of interest, but they also wouldn’t point and call me ugly. I don’t use makeup because I’m trying to fix an unattractive face; I use it because it’s fun and pretty.

If I have time, I’ll definitely fix myself up. Even though I prefer to be seen when I’m dolled up, I don’t really mind running out to the store or class as I am. I haven’t always been able to do this.

When I was younger, I had an incredible makeup dependency. I would rather be late to school than leave the house without makeup, and that’s coming from a girl who valued attendance and a high GPA. I had put myself in a cage, convinced that I would be made fun of or looked down on for what I really looked like. That being said, I probably didn’t look that different without it.

Switching schools in the middle of fourth grade was a big contributor to how I felt about myself. I had gone from a popular – well, as popular as one could be in elementary school – outgoing girl to a scared, shy student who wanted to go home the moment I walked into class. In middle school and most of high school, I was absolutely not okay with myself physically. I cried when photos of me were posted on Facebook, because I was completely convinced that I was ugly. If my friends spent the night, I would wake up early to get ready before they could see me.

I’m not blaming makeup for this. Not at all. What I’m trying to convey is that this is not the mindset with which you should use makeup. Don’t give it the right to hold your confidence, whether it’s on or off your face.

Society will never accept you the way you are. It will always have a product or agenda to sell that directly opposes what you believe about yourself. For every article that says you need giant eyelashes and glossy lips to be beautiful, there is one preaching “natural” is the way to go.


My stance is that if you want to cake your face with foundation and line your eyes a solid two inches out, go for it. However, at the end of the day you should be able to face yourself and others without it. Similarly, girls who don’t wear makeup but enjoy a bit of lipstick or mascara once in a while shouldn’t feel like they’re compromising their natural beauty by doing so

Like anything in life, makeup has only as much control as you give it. In the end, it’s nothing more than tinted goo and powder. Don’t treat it like anything special.

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