The concept of feminism envelopes and represents a broad spectrum of opinions, not all of which I agree with. Fundamentally though, it seems ridiculous to me that anyone would dispute that men and women deserve equal rights and opportunities.
As an avid reader of opinion blog posts and news sites, it has come to my attention that some people believe that it is hypocritical to support feminist ideas and have an avid interest in make-up and beauty.
While I cannot dispute that wearing make-up makes me feel more confident, I do not make an effort with my appearance purely for social acceptance or male attention. Wearing bold lipstick, for example, makes me feel sexy and empowered. Interacting with the stereotypical ideals of femininity does not necessarily make you anti-feminist. As well as this, experimentation with different colours and looks can be used as an outlet for self-expression – ultimately it is a person’s choice whether they are to alter their appearance or not.
Although I am certain that people’s personal use of make-up should not be called into question, I find the beauty industry itself is quite problematic. Although it does encourage creativity it is largely fuelled by people’s insecurities. Ideals pushed for both men and women are punitive and flicking through content can leave me feeling dejected and inadequate. There is lack of diversity in models and muses and stereotyping of gender within the media. Magazines print ‘horrifying’ and ‘shocking’ pictures of perfectly ordinary-looking celebrities who haven’t shaved/aren’t wearing make-up.
I am certain that it is not anti-feminist to take pride in your appearance (or to choose to conform to the archetypal image of femininity). Despite this, I feel that there should be checks and balances on the beauty industry: more diversity in the selection of models, the removal airbrushing and promotion of impossibly unrealistic ideals, and less shaming in the appearance of ordinary human beings. Make-up should be promoted as something that empowers, and should not simply be oppressively pushed onto the consumer.
Do you guys feel the same conflict when writing/reading blog posts? Let me know your opinion down below. Can you subscribe to the beauty industry and still identify as a feminist?