Friday, March 11, 2011

Make Up is a Lie -or- "I haven't touched a mascara brush in almost a decade, but I still managed to snag a boyfriend who looks like Brad Pitt."

I began wearing make up in sixth grade, right about the time when my mom told me I wasn't allowed to wear it. Sixth grade was a year when I put much effort into hiding my true self so that I could fit in with everyone else, and make up fit perfectly into that plan. Make-up made me feel less like the nerdy, tree hugging hippy book worm that I am and more like the dainty, flitatious, air headed girls who surrounded me.

Fortunately, my mom started selling Mary Kay and I continued to be rebellious. I stopped wearing make up at first because my mom suddenly became so enthusiastic about wanting me to wear it. Over time, however, I realized I truly hated the concept of covering my face with powder and goo. Why, I thought, should I pay money to cover up something that is already so freakin' gorgeous? I even became a little angry when I realized the cosmetics industry makes millions every year pointing out our supposed imperfections and selling us ways to hide them.

That anger resurfaced recently when I heard that WalMart will soon be selling a new line of make-up aimed at 8 to 12 year old girls, more commonly known as "tweens". The line is called GeoGirl and it's products are named in text message lingo (J4G for lip balm, QTPi for blush) and designed to be "environmentally friendly".

I could write an entire rant just on the annoying, cutesy, text message lingo, but that's not what's most important about this product. Yes, it can be fun for young girls to play and experiment with make up. This make up, however is not just for play. Joel Carden, the vice president of marketing and sales behind GeoGirl, was quoted as saying, "It's the first door to beauty for the next generation. These are real cosmetics with natural ingredients that will create return purchases and create a true beauty consumer." [Emphasis added]

GeoGirl is instilling in young, impressionable girls the value they don't already possess beauty; no, beauty has to be purchased. Marketing cosmetics to 8 to 12 year olds tells them that their bodies are not okay just they way they are but instead need to be covered with beauty products in order to be acceptable in society.

Instead of marketing make up to young girls (or any women!) we should be instilling them with self confidence and teaching them that their bodies are beautiful the way they are. Young girls will have plenty of time to conform as they grow up; let's encourage them to be themselves while they still can.

1 comment:

  1. You are right. I used (and still do sometimes) to wear make up to hide myself, too. Be someone else. Fit in. It's really weird that we always think we should be more beautiful because of strange and CHANGING ideals.