Are Makeup and Beauty Rituals Trivial or Superficial?

Today women have more money, power, scope and legal recognition than ever before....but how do we feel about ourselves physically?  - Naomi Wolf, Author of The Beauty Myth

  Photo credit: Brian hadwin photography     model: libby griffin

Photo credit: Brian hadwin photography    model: libby griffin


Where do you sit on the beauty scales?

Thanks to the The Beauty Myth, many of us are terribly confused and unbalanced on what I call “the beauty scales”: we either refuse to leave the house without makeup, or we refuse to wear it at all. Personally, I am a big believer in balance. I also believe that the approach/attitude you have while using it makes all the difference.

At one end of the beauty scales are the beauty slaves.  Prisoners to The Beauty Myth, these women have an unhealthy preoccupation with trying to create beauty since their sense of self is dependent upon the way they look. Most cannot comfortably leave the house without makeup because they believe they are ugly, flawed or plain without it. These women feel as though they are hiding behind their makeup and some are prepared to spend or do whatever is takes to feel or look beautiful.

At the other end of the scales are the beauty outcasts: those who don't bother with beauty rituals at all. Some believe they are simply not beautiful and that there's no point in even trying, whilst some are convinced that makeup/beauty rituals are trivial, unimportant and only for superficial women. Some feel they are simply not creative or artistic enough to master their own makeup and styling.

But you can't blame these women for being turned off beauty. Just look at the beauty industry: it is outrageously superficial and exclusive; built around the concept that we must all strive to meet an ideal and keep up with trends, when you really think about it, the whole thing is insane.

But beauty & makeup are not superficial nor trivial matters; they are an ancient sacred art: women (and men) have been using makeup for ceremony, celebration, self expression & self adornment for thousands of years.

Makeup & beauty is about playing artist and canvas, not because you have or need to, but because you want to, because it's fun and feels good to honour yourself.

The fact is, you are not "flawed" and you don't need to "cover", "conceal" or "correct" yourself. You are a magnificent and divine warrior goddess expressing yourself in, what is supposed to be, an occasional sacred ritual of self-adornment & celebration of self.

You are a warrior…

In today’s day and age of beauty madness and nonsense, I see women very much like warriors painting on war paint before a battle...

Just think about what you are up against: you live in a society that tells you that you aren't good enough. Where people judge you based on what you look like, rather than who you really are. You live in a world where you are compared to manufactured images of female beauty that are literally impossible to achieve without surgery or starvation… meaning that you can never feel good enough. You live in a world where you must wear just the right amount of makeup or look just the right way in order to be taken seriously. We are taught that beauty isn't something all women already possess; that it is something we must work hard for and compete with our fellow sisters to obtain and maintain. You have been conditioned to dislike your own face and body… and this is why, although you can quite effortlessly see the beauty in others, you cannot see the beauty in yourself.

 Photo credit: Phil Jenkins Photography    Model: Jae West   

Photo credit: Phil Jenkins Photography    Model: Jae West   

Sisters… to love and accept yourself in a world like ours, takes the strength of a warrior!

Every morning when you look into that mirror, give yourself a pep talk; look deep into your own eyes and tell yourself that you are beautiful; tell yourself that you love yourself. Invoke your inner warrior and reclaim your power to do what is actually the biggest challenge you will ever face: accept and love yourself no matter what.

It will be really f%cking hard at first, but it will get easier, and remember that if you are struggling to see your beauty, all you have to do is smile. The fact is, you are a beauty; you were born beautiful and you will die beautiful, and it is your birthright to see that and share it proudly.

Female beauty, women’s self esteem, self love: these issues are NOT trivial; women empowering themselves through self love is likely our best chance for bringing balance and harmony to this planet.

Makeup can never be shallow, vain or superficial if our feet are planted in self-love and joyful self-expression.


So, the question is, where do you weigh up on the beauty scales?