Cosmetics, clothing should not define women

Feb. 09, 2015

Audrey Jensen
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The 1957 film “Funny Face,” follows a lowly bookstore owner, Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) who is considered to be an ugly duckling that no one thinks is beautiful.

Upon meeting Stockton, fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) tells her that she has a funny face unlike models he is used to shooting. It isn’t until she is dolled up with makeup and fashionable clothes that she is considered worth anything to the other characters.

This idea in American society that women are only appealing when they are dressed up has not disappeared.

It’s a question I ask myself every morning: Would I rather sleep in or wake up to maintain an image?

As much as I wish that I 100 percent did not care what anyone thought of me or how I look, I have learned that in certain settings it is better to spend more time on my appearance.

It’s true that to a degree men and women both work to uphold an appropriate look as far as hygiene and presentation goes, but sometimes it is exhausting to have to worry about little details of my image rather than just taking a shower, brushing my teeth and combing my hair.

Each person has a different daily routine and not everyone feels it necessary to dress up more in different situations, but I end up planning my appearance based on reactions I receive from those I interact with on a day-to-day basis.

At school, I am more comfortable in jeans, my favorite t-shirt, a pair of sneakers, letting my hair dry naturally and wearing my prescription glasses. But at work, I am “the face” of the company and will be judged based on how I look.

Obviously many jobs require a professional appearance, but why should women feel they have to wear makeup? Even at work?

I enjoy dressing up every now and again and makeup can be fun to wear, but there are days when I just want to look how I was born without added color to my skin and eyes.

I didn’t used to care as much about the difference that makeup makes.

But after days of hearing, “what’s wrong?” “You look tired,” and literally not being acknowledged by people that say hi to me when I do wear makeup, I started to become frustrated.

Of course I have my insecurities. When people say that I look good without my glasses or compliment me with makeup on then I’m going to make some changes to my appearance.

But I would just like to be treated the same, makeup or not. It’s not as if I don’t care about taking care of myself. I just don’t appreciate the idea of makeup being my access to acknowledgement or appreciation.

Girls and women should not be judged or treated differently if they decide to wear makeup or not.

There are comments I will have to learn to not take personally. But I’ve also realized that I need to respect and appreciate myself, dolled up or not, and not let people decide whether I am worth it or not.

I applaud women that do not let what society thinks affect their appearance, but the bottom line is that we need to stop judging people by what they put on their face. You can meet a lot of cool people when you treat them the same, no matter what they do with their appearance.