25 Apr 2012

The Power of Makeup

Author: Caitlin Flack | Filed under: Enterprise Story, Science, Health, Environment, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

By: Caitlin Flack

Every woman in Bowling Green participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she wants to or not.

Many women say they feel the pressure to participate in beauty routines and makeup trends to feel good about themselves.

However, there are groups across the country like Girls on the Run, The Naked Face Project, Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign and TEDX speaker Molly Barker who supports the idea of natural beauty.

The Naked Face Project is one of these groups, whose goal ultimately is to challenge women to ask themselves why they wear makeup and dare them to face the challenge of going two months without makeup, primping and shaving.

“It is predictable that The Naked Face Project will be uncomfortable for some women because it takes a lot to get used to a naked face, but in the end it is so worth it,” said Sara Ruese, a participant in The Naked Face Project and student at Bowling Green.

Erika Stratton without and with makeup. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

Students at Bowling Green State University question themselves on whether or not they could go a few days without their usual beauty routines. For some students they feel self-conscious without makeup, while others say that they feel uncomfortable and not themselves with it on.

“I wear very little makeup as it is, but I do not think I would feel comfortable going two months without shaving or ever doing my hair,” said sophomore Erika Stratton, a business major.

All women know that there is more to them outside of their appearance; they just need to believe it.

“Society tells us that to be a woman you have to present yourself in a certain way, so there are a lot of pressures that you’re supposed to look a certain way. You’re suppose to wear makeup, do your hair, wear your hair a certain way and wear certain clothes, but all of that takes effort,” said Vikki Krane, director of women’s studies and sport’s psychology.

There are some students on campus who try not to get caught up in societies’ “suppose to’s” and instead focus on what they feel more comfortable doing.

Sports management major Jennifer Kelley is one of these students who attempts to not be like everyone else on campus.

Jennifer Kelley without and with makeup. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

“I feel more comfortable about myself when I’m in sweats with my hair up and no makeup on,” Kelley said.

Since society has put these beauty pressures on women, it is expected that women will wear makeup and do their hair a certain way.

Some women are starting the trend of not wearing makeup and not doing their hair because they don’t want to be part of that societal norm, Krane said.

There are women on Bowling Green’s campus who do not know what The Naked Face Project is, but in reality they are a part of it without even knowing.

Becca Cragin, assistant professor in popular culture, said makeup has long been a norm for women in American society.

“In very many and perhaps even most environments, it’s an unstated expectation that women wear at least some makeup when they go out in public,” Cragin said.

Many women raise the question on whether or not makeup is healthy for the skin.

A Revlon’s spokeswoman said that their makeup is healthy because, “As a global company, all ingredients used by Revlon and products manufactured and sold by us are in compliance with both U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Union regulations.”

For some women, their main concern is their overall appearance and not how the makeup is affecting their skin.

“I couldn’t go two months without makeup because I feel like I would have to make a good impression at some point in those two months and without any makeup on I don’t think I could do that,” said freshman Shana Flanary, an exercise science major.

Many women say makeup is not only about looking good but also feeling good at the same time.

Early childhood education major Jamie Kertes said that she could not go without any makeup on because she thinks it makes her look good.

“Makeup helps me hide things that I don’t want others to see that I have and it also helps me enhance features that I do have and it makes me feel good about myself,” Kertes said.

However, many will say that no makeup is healthier for your skin and your wallet.

Several college students say they know the feeling of having a tight spending budget, but for some women that budget must include their beauty essentials.

“Every month I find myself spending at least $100 on beauty products,” Flanary said.

A Young Women’s Christian Association report says that one full year of tuition and fees at an instate public college is equivalent to almost five years of spending $100 a month on cosmetics and beauty products.

“I would be rich if I didn’t spend as much of my money on makeup as I do,” Kertes said.

According to the Economist, beauty spending on make-up, cosmetic surgery, hair products, skin care, diet and exercise and fragrances adds up to $160 billion a year worldwide.

Whether wearing makeup out of habit or to hide insecurities, many women find it beneficial to get rid of their cosmetics crutch and embrace the natural look.

“Real confidence comes from within,” Krane said.


A few of the beauty products I use. Photo by Caitlin Flack

The Never Naked Face

By: Caitlin Flack

It takes me at least forty-five minutes to get ready in the morning, and that’s not including time to eat breakfast.

It takes me that long to feel somewhat satisfied with myself before leaving my dorm room. This all includes showering, putting in my contacts, applying lotions and deodorant, picking out which sweats I’m going to wear, putting on makeup and doing my hair. Let’s not forget the time it takes me to change outfits three times until I finally decide on one.

Don’t get me wrong, I take less time than some girls, and then I take more time than others due to the fact that going to class with no makeup and bed head is not an option I’m willing to take.

Myself without and with makeup on. Photo by Caitlin Flack.

Without hesitation I can say I could not go a day without makeup, let alone other beauty essentials. I’m self-conscious about the way my skin looks without any makeup. There have been days where I don’t want to go out because I’m that self-conscious and think I look that bad.

I was the middle-school girl who used to secretly take her mom’s makeup to hide a few zits on my face and begged my parents for Proactiv because I thought everyone could see the two zits on my forehead. I was the high-schooler who shaved my legs and arms everyday in fear that others would think I was weird and gross if I didn’t. Now I’ve learned that people think I’m weird because I shave my arms, but to me it’s a way of making myself feel good and looking good.

After asking others how much they spend on beauty products a month I decided to add up my own. I found that I spend anywhere from $75 to $125 a month on beauty products. That is a lot of money that I could be spending on something else like gas money, food or saving up for a new car.

The number however will not stop me from wearing makeup. If I were ever told that I could only take five things with me to an island, one of those items would be my makeup.

My makeup only changes my appearance it doesn’t change who I am on the inside, but to those who don’t wear makeup, I commend you for your confidence.

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2 thoughts on “The Power of Makeup

  1. Carrie Brittson Says:

    Nice topic choice. I don’t know about the ending because it is your opinion, but it is a nice touch to show that not every girl is confident without make up.

  2. Teddie Livingston Says:

    I love this story and the pictures you included! Great topic!!