Vanity vs. Insecurity

The thin line between beauty and vanity disappears when pride is put into play, but make-up blurs our conception of confidence versus narcissism. Women worldwide apply foundation, lipstick, concealer, blush and other everyday products to enhance their appearance. While it is common to act upon one’s wish to look better by the use of make- up, why is our first thought, when seeing a person with it on, to immediately assume they are vain? Makeup helps elicit different feelings in its users, and attaching a stigma to actions that imply someone cares about their looks is a display of simple-mindedness.
Make-up is a tool utilized to increase self-confidence and increase women’s appeal to others. Contrary to the beliefs carried by society, a woman is more likely to use make-up out of insecurity than vanity. The average woman attempts to attain the perfection of a model through make-up techniques because of the very standards set by society itself, creating feelings of inferiority to those who fail to look a certain way. Concealing flaws, intensifying cheekbones, deepening blush and curling eyelashes are all a part of the venture essentially every woman ascends upon in order to pursue detailed perfection and gain the acceptance of others.
The self-esteem gained from make-up assists women in their daily lives, optimizing their attitude and boosting courage. Hiding themselves through make-up, disguised as what they wished they truly appeared as, creates a sense of security. Although it strengthens their confidence, it doesn’t necessarily signify an ego. To put effort into one’s looks does not justify them to be perceived as conceited, but simply as what it is – they care about how they are seen.
For others, make-up is what defines them and gives them the ability to display their personalities with the stroke of a brush. Bold eyeliner wings, thick mascara, or defined contour lines, make-up is a form of creativity. Being able to express themselves with their looks gives them the ability to individualize themselves and embody their personalities and unique styles into their facial features. Rather than being subjected to stereotypical contempt for their desire to adorn themselves to their liking, those that use make-up should, instead, take pride in their boldness to freely depict themselves.
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