Make-up and self-esteem
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BOTH men and women who use make-up oftentimes are mistaken to have low self-esteem, confidence and an overall undervalued self-worth.

I’d like to be one of the first of many to say that this is not always true. Growing up, I have always admired my mother as she blushed her cheeks and apply the most vibrant, coloured lipsticks. Whether her mood was bold, chic or even casual, I have seen her transform her face to suit them as they varied every day. Yet, my mother loves every bit of herself and the confidence I have today stems from her. I, myself, as a teen now enjoy doing the same; transforming into my moods with the rainbow over my eyelids and a sharp eyeliner.

‘The lipstick effect’ is a term I’m sure many of you may have never heard before. It is a psychological phenomenon which can give individuals a confidence boost by making them feel more physically attractive, increasing feelings of self- esteem, attitude and personality by using make-up. While many will argue that we should be comfortable in our own skins, if make-up makes someone feel confident, then who are we to take that level of confidence away from them?

While we use make-up as a daily/occasional routine, we also have our faces as canvases to create spectacular pieces. One perk of it, is that the canvas can be used over and over again. Art can be defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form. Now, I ask those of you who would always question make-up and its use; Isn’t it a form of art then? Perhaps I’m not convincing enough that it’s not only a fun and good thing to do, but how about a Christmas tree without the little added decors on it? It’s still a Christmas tree and it is still beautiful, but with a little sparkle, dash of colours and creativity, it can become a super, extra-looking Christmas tree. It’s safe to use that exact comparison towards our love-hate relationship with make-up.

Studies have shown that 50-80% of women wear make-up — at least occasionally. That surely includes me and my mother. Make-up is not just another layer added onto our faces, even skin-tone and bright colours, but it is an expression of who we are and what we feel. From Cleopatra and her famous Egyptian eyeliners, pink rosey cheeks in the 1800s, Marilyn Monroe and her red lips in the 1950s, Grunge in the 1990s or Kim Kardashian’s contour in the late 2000s; women have always found a way to express themselves in their given time.

Horror and other special-effect movies would not have been as successful by using only computer- generated imagery. Make-up brings to life the wildest and most unlikely appearances of the human physique. Guyana has developed a liking for the use of make-up and its trends. The trending job/profession at the moment if you would ask me is now that of a make-up artist. There are many make-up courses available nationwide that offer recognised certification and there are also many Guyanese ‘making a name’ for themselves, both nationally and internationally. The use of make-up within our society is still controversial in many ways, but our youth are breaking barriers with breathtaking projects and dramatic looks that are being featured all over social media for all to see.

I can tell you one thing: as a freelance artist, I’ve learned that make-up has surely made me appreciative of the uniqueness and beauty of humanity even more. Working close up with very different faces, enhancing their lines and symmetry brought out the effect of diversity. No two eyes, nose, lips or faces are the same. We’re all different, but yet beautiful in our own way.

When it’s used for the right reasons and not abused, make-up can be very helpful. I am already beautiful on the inside, but I am just trying to match that beauty onto my outside appearance. The same goes with all my other feelings. The famous Colombian singer Shakira once said, ‘The greatest make-up one can wear is confidence.’
I say, ‘life is too short, why not wear both!’

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