The beauty industry creates unrealistic standards


Savanna Briscoe, Staff Columnist

For many years, the beauty industry has made it their mission to create skin care products and makeup lines that make women feel beautiful in their own skin. From full coverage foundation and blemish control to anti-wrinkle cream, the beauty industry is always coming up with new and improved products. Most makeup artists and beauty experts stress to their followers and customers that they want their brand to encourage women (and men) to feel comfortable in their own skin.

 For generations, women have been told that makeup should only be used to enhance their natural beauty. If that is true, then it doesn’t make sense that women are made to feel embarrassed about a pimple on their face or acne scars they have from their younger days. Most of the women I know always feel the need to cover up any noticeable flaw on their body or face. Women have been made to feel dirty or unfeminine if they don’t hide their blemishes. 

If the beauty industry’s main goal is to make all women feel confident and love who they truly are, then why are makeup lines and skin care products advertised in a way that makes women feel the need to cover up their flaws? Whether or not women choose to wear makeup is their choice. I know I’m not the only female that is tired of seeing beauty commercials that say, “Enhance your true beauty with this full coverage matte concealer.” Read that again, and tell me that isn’t completely contradictory.  

Trust me when I say that I genuinely enjoy putting on makeup. I gain satisfaction when my eyeshadow is blended correctly and I create the best winged eyeliner. Even though I find happiness in wearing makeup, I don’t feel that it is a necessity. I have learned how to be comfortable in my own skin without feeling the need to pack on layers of makeup in order to live up to society’s idea of “beauty.”

For years I had been searching for an answer as to why society’s expectations of women are so unrealistic. I wanted to know why women felt they had to look a certain way in order to be considered “feminine” enough. As I got older, I began to pick up on the ways in which the beauty industry has made the world perceive women in the most unnatural ways. 

At a young age, little girls are taught to be effeminate and to like makeup. I remember that I used to dress up and play with fake makeup when I was only 6 years old. Little did I know, I would soon grow up to be a young woman, faced with self-doubt and a feeling that I need to fit in with society’s idea of what a woman should look like. Once I started to get into makeup and use it on a regular basis, I quickly picked up on the manipulation I had fallen for. 

Just when you start to feel comfortable in your own skin, you’ll find that you compare yourself to other women more often than not. These women may be models for a makeup line, but their headshots are almost always altered after the fact; their blemishes are blurred out so they appear to be absolutely perfect. The reason society expects so much from women is because the beauty industry has created this falsehood that all women should be flawless, with no imperfections at all. 

It saddens me that women feel the need to change their natural appearance just to conform to societal norms. It is evident that society’s expectations of women are unrealistic, and we only have the beauty industry to blame for that.