Why People Choose to Wear Makeup
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Lipstick, mascara, concealer, foundation, eyeliner. For many people, these cosmetics are part of a typical makeup routine. Whether people use it or not, makeup is an integral part of our culture.
At Vista del Lago High School, there are students both barefaced and with makeup. Some believe that the people who wear cosmetics are dependent on it because of insecurities about their appearance. However, others think that makeup is a form of self-expression and that the user wears it because they enjoy applying it.
“I think a lot of people do it as a personal choice just to feel good about themselves,” said freshman Emma Galovich. She believes that people don’t necessarily need to wear makeup — it really just depends on the user.
The pressure from society oftentimes plays a big role in students feeling that they need makeup to look attractive. “I feel like most of the time it just feels out of place to not wear makeup in a place where people are always wearing makeup,” said freshman Emilie Doroy. “It really depends on the person, but sometimes I feel like people are obligated to because more and more people are starting to wear makeup now.”
Part of the reasoning behind students’ decisions to wear makeup is because of human psychology. “We are mimickers by nature, and we as humans have this drive to want to belong socially and culturally to fit in with other people,” said Janine Shapley, Vista’s AP Psychology teacher.
So while people may want to look like their peers for social reasons, it’s also in their biology.
Shapley explained that humans have mirror neurons that cause us to want to imitate the things that we see. “From the psychological perspective, there’s kind of this chemistry inside of us but there’s also some cognition about we do want to belong to other people and when we can belong it’s to conform or fit in and imitate or mimic,” said Shapley.
And this doesn’t just go for girls. Recently, more men are wearing makeup as well.
“I got really into this TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race…and then I was just thinking about it after watching it, like, ‘Why don’t boys wear makeup?’” said Bailey Kirschten, a senior at Vista who’s used to wearing makeup on stage because of experience with drama. “I’m just going to start doing it– there’s no reason that I shouldn’t.” Kirschten also believes societal pressure contributes to people’s decisions regarding cosmetics.
“I definitely think that unrealistic expectations of beauty are imposed upon people but I don’t believe that that’s why people wear makeup. I believe that for some people it could contribute, but I definitely believe it’s mostly like self-expression,” said Kirschten.
Regardless if people wear cosmetics because of societal pressures or for the love of the artistry, it’s a huge industry that isn’t going anywhere.