Article by Ceri Wheeldon
This was the question put to me today in a radio segment on BBC Tees. It seems Alicia Keys has said that she will no longer wear make up for performances or photo shoots ….apparently she feels empowered when not wearing makeup. I’m sure Alicia Keys looks fabulous without her makeup – she is stunning with great skin tone…and of course her photos are most likely to be professionally lit – the rest of us are perhaps not quite so naturally blessed!
I’m not so sure I feel quite the same. I don’t think anyone should feel that they have to wear makeup- it is a personal choice. I wear make up every day…at home as well as when I’m out. It is part of my morning ritual…..applying makeup is as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth…and it takes me less than 5 minutes.
Being naturally pale, if I don’t wear it people assume I’m ill…I need to add a bit of colour. In fact without makeup I would probably scare young children and animals. Also, I think that as we get older our skin tone changes and our features lose a little definition, so why not use makeup to enhance what nature has taken away. I’m all for enhancing. Makeup has changed enormously since we were teenagers- there are so many new products available today, primers, highlighters, contouring powders, and the consistency of foundations, eye shadows and blushers has changed enormously.
Personally I don’t believe wearing makeup is about trying to look younger, I think it is about making the best of what you’ve got. If mascara, blusher and a touch of lipstick gives me a little extra confidence when facing the world, then why not?
During the second world war women were actively encouraged to wear makeup – particularly lipstick – it was seen as being good for morale. Shades such as Victory red were popular, and if supplies ran low women stained their lips with beetroot juice!
I was asked in the radio interview if I felt women were pressured to look good. Of course we are…especially as we are working for longer – we live in a visual world, and whether we like it or not we are still judged on our appearance…but I also think we enjoy looking good primarily for ourselves not necessarily for others.
For me its ‘makeup, dont leave home without it’!
I would love your thoughts on this!