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Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


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What Does it Mean to Feel Pretty?

The effects of makeup on self confidence
submitted by Bryleigh Conley
At a young age, I was introduced to makeup and was so happy whenever I was able to get ready alongside my mom.

Maybe it’s your hair, or the way you decide to dress today, but most people tend to use makeup as a form of self-expression and confidence. Whether it be light and natural, or heavy and bold, makeup is something that can hold value to a person and give people the opportunity to express themselves, showing personality through what they wear. Girl or boy, everyone has a chance to show who they really are. On the other hand, makeup is also one of the main reasons why our standards of beauty are so high today, and can have the complete opposite effect of what it was made for. Leading to the question of: is makeup really a bad or good thing?

As a student in high school, I wear makeup to class everyday, but during the summer learn to let go of the need to wear it, and begin to prefer myself without it. Yet, as soon as that school year starts back up, I’m stuck in the habit of feeling like I need to wear it again, because if you don’t wear it people start asking questions and assuming something is wrong. “Did you wake up late today?” “You look different today.” All these questions start to arise, which can bring down a person’s self esteem and continue to convince someone into thinking that they don’t look like themselves without it.

However, makeup was made to help us feel pretty and comfortable in our own skin. Feeling like ourselves, having that extra confidence boost, and being able to show who we are. Having makeup on can almost feel like a shield. Something used to protect yourself and allow you to make it through tough days. It allows us to gain that confidence to put ourselves out there and open up to new opportunities. “I, over the years, used makeup as a disguise or as something to hide behind,” describes Ariana Grande on Vogue’s Beauty Secrets via Youtube. “As I get older, I don’t, I don’t love that being the attention behind it anymore.” 

Not only can we use it to express ourselves, but also as a form of artistic expression that shows a person’s creative side, such as experimenting with new looks. Some people can even be considered artists, and make a hobby or profession out of it. “Engaging in creative processes allows us to acquire self-knowledge, encouraging us to understand who we are and pursue our wants and passions voraciously,” describes Beth Ashley on The-Breakdown.

Even just the process of putting on makeup can be therapeutic. Getting ready in the morning can turn into a session of just you, yourself, and sorting your thoughts. Or maybe there’s something on your mind, something making you anxious. Doing your makeup can help distract you from those thoughts, allowing yourself to focus on something differently and find relief.”

Makeup is nothing short of an art form, yet it can be more accessible and less intimidating than fine art such as painting or sculpture.

— Beth Ashley

As most of us know well, practicing art (particularly anything hands-on) has both a therapeutic value, and allows for self-expression. Makeup is nothing short of an art form, yet it can be more accessible and less intimidating than fine art such as painting or sculpture,” describes Ashley.

As for the negatives, if you often use makeup on a day to day basis, it’s hard to get out of the habit of wearing it, almost to the point where you won’t feel comfortable without it. Soon you will be wearing it everywhere you go. Need to run to the store for a quick errand? Suddenly you’re spending an hour getting ready. Not to mention, makeup products can be pricey, spending about $100 on three name branded products.

 It’s even to the point where, if one person feels confident wearing makeup, it can bring a negative impact to someone around them. Say you see someone on social media with a style of makeup that really suits them and brings out their best qualities, you may now feel inspired to do the same, or it could have the complete opposite effect. Maybe now you feel like you can’t live up to that standard of what is considered pretty.

“It’s no secret that our society places a high value on physical appearance. Advertising, celebrities and social media all contribute to the message that we need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful.” describes Chris Foy on Florida Health Experience’s (FHE) website. FHE is a mental health and substance abuse treatment center. 

To me there is really no right or wrong answer to whether makeup can be a good or bad thing, and no matter what you do there’s always going to be a mixed opinion that surrounds it. It’s really all in the mindset of how you decide to perceive it yourself. And maybe next time, when you’re stuck spending an hour getting ready, this will pop in your head and remind yourself that there really is no perfect standard to live up to. You are beautiful on your own. With or without makeup.

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About the Contributor
Bryleigh Conley
Bryleigh Conley, Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger
Bryleigh Conley is a senior in her third year of publications. Working for The Ledger, she hopes to do her best as the editor in chief this year. She enjoys going hiking, paddle boarding, and loves traveling. She also enjoys listening to music and seeing her favorite bands live. As well as, watching anime, and reading manga in her free time.

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