Making Up a Mask or Expressing Art?

Editor’s note: The following is an opinion article. The opinions presented are the writer’s own and are not representative of the Trailblazer newspaper staff or Pascack Hills High School.


By: Sam Zuckerberg

Sofia Papadopoulos, Editor-in-Chief

Do the products we cake on express who we are? Do the products we cake on mask something from others? Do the products we cake on mean anything? Do the products we cake on define us?

Renfrew Center Foundation conducted a survey in 2012 to see what percentage of girls, between ages 8 through 18, wore makeup, and what age they began to do so. The results showed that 58 percent of the 572 girls wore makeup consistently and 65 percent of them started in the 8-13 age group.

According to the study, the girls who wore makeup claimed that they wore it because they were feeling self-conscious, unattractive and naked without it, this taking up 52 percent of the study group. Within this group, only five percent said that they felt more attractive when going makeup-free.

We wake up an hour earlier than we have to, just to paint our faces, but why are we doing this? I would like to believe that some are doing this to promote artistry and to present ourselves in the way we want. Unfortunately, so many of us are doing this to mask our insecurities, instead of accepting them and loving our natural selves.  

Insecurities are something that should be accepted and embraced. I once heard, “You must love yourself before you start to change.” You should love your natural features before thinking of the possibility of a nose job or start contouring your cheeks.

Nancy L. Etcoff, lead author and an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard University, held a study that showed how people react at different speeds and the labels they create when looking at people for short times.

One hundred forty-nine adults judged various pictures for 250 milliseconds each, enough time to make a snap judgment. Then 119 different adults were given unlimited time to look at the same faces. The results of this experiment showed that certain people were drawn to types of clean and mature makeup, while turning away from those with messy, over the top makeup.

Studies like this show how people’s minds are skewed. We look at people with ‘over the top’ makeup and think “Wow, that’s a lot,” but the amount of art they show on their face doesn’t change the person behind it.

If I decide to put on some foundation or layer on some mascara it doesn’t make me, let’s say, and I wish, Beyonce. If I decide to not fully blend my concealer that doesn’t make me less business oriented. How I, and everyone around you, decides to look at your physical features doesn’t change the quality of heart.

It is 2017 and stigmas are being continually broken, so let’s start here and break this one. Let’s embrace each other for the way we look and talk, and let’s love ourselves more than anyone else. Love yourself, spread positivity to one another, and continue to break stigmas.