My Updated Manifesto – The Makeup Debacle

Photo by Anderson Guerra on

Some of you readers who have been following me for a few years (precisely since early December 2020) know that I seemingly have some pretty strong opinions about makeup. A few years ago, I wrote a very passionate article on such, and probably hurt some feelings in the process… though I do still agree with many of the points.

(If you have any interest at all in reading said article, feel free. Click here to take a gander at my raging, hormonal and confused 13-year-old self. I find my old thought processes both cringey and fascinating)

Over time and with some thought, I’ve realized that a lot of the beef I have with makeup honestly didn’t even come from the makeup itself, nor the implications of it. Rather, my issue with makeup comes from how society has used it; and a sprinkling of my own pride and stubbornness.

You see, at the age of 13 and 14, people often formed pre-concieved notions about me. They declared me as this perfect, goody-two-shoes kind of church girl who would always show up as such (and I know many still do see me this way at times, even if unintentionally). And thus, my head twisted this into a sort of expectation. And I needed a way to escape this expectation.

And what better way to do that then to trash on makeup?

Showing up with a bare face is admirable, don’t get me wrong, if done for the right reasons. I still do so often enough to ensure I’m not spending too much time worried about how I look. The new ultimatum I want to set forth here is this: regardless of whether or not you use makeup, make sure that your intentions with your choice aren’t either to appear perfect… nor imperfect. For me, stubborn pride and a desire to break free from societal expectation was a major motivating factor towards my distaste for makeup.

However, that being said, it wasn’t singularly my own personal feelings that kept me from makeup. I remain held to the stance that today’s society, especially the media, have overused makeup and unintentionally created an unattainable image that girls often feel pressured to meet.

Sure, dabbing on a bit of makeup now and then doesn’t hurt anything. It’s nice to enhance your features for special occasions or when you’re out here and there. But society’s expectations (at least in my own world) have created an everyday, constant picture of what a girl should look like… whether she’s lounging about binge-watching TV or out at a dance. It is damaging how difficult is to find movie and TV heroines that don’t wear makeup. And, while I know there are cinematic reasons for girls to wear a bit of makeup, there is – more than often – an excessive use of it. This reality is detrimental.

Case and point… A few days ago I put on a bit of mascara. Nothing too crazy. And it surprised me how different I looked. I looked more societally at home. I looked like I should fit in more. And though only a few people noticed (if others did they never mentioned anything)… I felt more comfortable in my own skin. Prettier. And why is that?

Because makeup-wearing girls are portrayed as normal. Prettier. Deeper. More attractive.

Such implicit standards make it difficult for adults to feel comfortable in their own skin, let alone young teenagers.

My point with all of this is, we need to examine how we think about the truth. How we percieve beauty. Every single woman is beautiful, as she is created in God’s image. In my view, the Enemy took this truth and ran with it; creating the annoying nagging in the back of our minds saying things like, ‘If you don’t look a certain way, you’ll never measure up.’ ‘I know this isn’t real, but is looking pretty all the time the only way to make it in the world?’

As fake as what we consume is, we often tend to underestimate how much our brains tend to twist such ‘fake-ness’ into normalcy.

So now the hot-button question… Do I wear makeup? The answer: Everyday? No. Sometimes? Yes. Is makeup an instrument of the devil? Not inherently. But it can be used to make us doubt our value if we’re not careful.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the LORD is to be
Proverbs 31:30

Truly, the world is quaking. There is so much confusion. And not to say that I have it all figured out, because believe me, ‘figured out’ is an elusive statement and a reality that no one, let alone myself, can grasp. And there’s the fact that there are much more important things to be worried about than makeup. But, regardless, remember this:

You are precious.

You are beautiful.

You were made in the image of God.

So go into the world, and shine that in the way your convictions relay 🙂

Photo by Emma Bauso on

Published by Emma Haglund

Emma Haglund is an aspiring teen writer who has been hooked to the art of words ever since she wrote her own Sea Animal Encyclopedia at 6 years old. She enjoys writing stories with intentional messages that encourage others and point to Christ through shining a light on the unseen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: