Self expression through makeup


Sofia Cole, co-features editor

From Lady Gaga to David Bowie, celebrities have been experimenting with extreme makeup looks for decades. At South, extravagant makeup as such is stigmatized, senior Joselle David said.

 David pointed out that many still think of makeup as being shallow or unimportant. She believes this stigma should be broken because she believes makeup is an expressive art form.

Although makeup can be a wonderful tool for people’s confidence and aesthetic, it is important to recognize unrealistic beauty standards encouraged by makeup on social media Amie Elliott, Fine Arts Teacher, said.

“Social media advertisements [on makeup make] people’s skin look impossibly flawless, [the issue is that] that is [what]nobody’s skin [looks like],” Elliott said. 

Junior Hannah Jung said that there is a standard to wear beauty products and present a certain way at South. Pressures to wear perfect makeup could potentially harm one’s self-esteem, she explained.

“When I put on makeup, I don’t want to feel like I have to cover myself,” Jung said. “I want to keep the facial features that I was born with. [However], if people abuse makeup it can be harmful.”

Jung believes there are stigmas around wearing makeup, such as it meaning one is insecure. Despite Jung rarely wearing makeup, she explained that there is no issue with someone else wearing makeup to conceal blemishes.

“If there’s [something] you feel insecure about, it’s okay to cover it up [with makeup],” Jung said. “Each person has their own individual freedom. I do not think there’s anything wrong with what you do to your face.”

As makeup becomes more prominent, Elliott hopes everyone, boys and girls alike, feel comfortable experimenting with makeup. Although women are given more leeway with pushing gender norms, Elliott wishes men were given the same opportunities.

“I wish more boys would feel like they could be more open to fluid looks,” Elliott said. “[Sometimes when wearing] bold makeup, [a person] becomes an object of ridicule, [often to] more men than women.”

Outlets at South such as Stitched, South’s student-run fashion magazine, or social media, makeup is becoming more widespread every day, Elliot said.

As Stitched’s Makeup Director, David believes that makeup plays an important role in elevating a model’s natural beauty. Some of Stitched projects have even been focused on makeup rather than outfits, David explained

“[Makeup] enhances fashion photography and goes hand in hand with a lot of things we do in Stitched,” David said.

Not only is makeup a principal part of Stitched, for David, makeup also serves as a creative outlet in her personal life. 

“I really like doing my makeup, [but] I [do not take] many art classes, so it’s a way for me to [have a creative] outlet,” David said.

Makeup is a tool that people should recognize for what it is; a unique form of art, David explained.

“It’s important to recognize all of [makeup’s] functions [such as] elevating something that’s already there,” David said. “[Makeup is] a creative way to express yourself [regardless of] if it’s natural or really bold [and] transformative.”