A Love of Makeup Doesn’t Indicate Low Self-Esteem

I was recently watching a news program where they had a “Man-on-the-Street” section. A newscaster was asking real people on a busy New York City block what they thought of women who wear a lot of makeup. Let me paraphrase some of the typical responses:

“It makes me wonder what she’s hiding under there. She must be pretty ugly!”

“Only women with low self-esteem do stuff like that.”

“Women who wear makeup probably don’t like the way they look without it.”

It seems like a prevailing thought: women who wear makeup have low self-esteem or are ugly.

But it’s simply not true! There is no correlation between makeup and self-esteem. While there are women who wear makeup that also have bad self-esteem, that can be said of any group, including women who wear no makeup at all.

There are also women who wear makeup and love themselves, for exactly who they are.

Take me, for example. I absolutely love makeup, especially super colorful and bold eye makeup. Yet I have super great self esteem. I love myself and I think I’m beautiful even without makeup. Just because I like to wear makeup doesn’t mean I hate myself or the way I am naturally.

Another example: dating. I’ve heard from so many guys that they prefer “natural” women. It’s because of all the negative stereotypes of women who wear makeup. It bothers me that a guy wouldn’t consider dating a girl just because she wears makeup. Absurd!

Just because I wear makeup, it doesn’t mean that I…

  • …have low self-esteem.
  • …am ugly.
  • …am high-maintenance.
  • …have something to hide.

It’s time to stop these negative stereotypes. How? Talk highly of yourself! Mention how you like your lips, whether they have lipstick or not. And if someone talks badly about you or other women who wear makeup, give them a swift talking-to!

Quit hating on us beauty goddesses!


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  1. What a great post Trisha! I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m tired of people judging women that were makeup, calling them even insecure or ugly. I like the way they look and I don’t have a problem going out barefaced but I usually wear makeup (the brighter the better) because I think it’s fun. I love makeup, I love coming up with new color combinations to wear and I love how makeup can transform a face. On day i can look natual and fresh, the next like a vamp. But that doesn’t mean that I have a low-self esteem or I’m ugly.

    As for men preferring women that look natural, well that’s because they have no idea how long it takes and how many products a woman uses to look natural! They can never tell when a woman is wearing makeup, but do they really think that women have a flawless complexion? It takes time to hide redness, dark circles, pimples, large pores.. we all get them, at least every once in a while. And most women would at least use some foundation or concealer to hide them but they just don’t notice it.

  2. Exactly! Natural-looking rarely means no makeup.

    And the whole high-maintenance thing… I think some guys think that a girl who wears makeup automatically takes forever to get ready.

    Instead, I think that’s a time management thing. If you’re late because of putting makeup on, it’s because you’re not good at managing your time. It has nothing to do with the makeup.

    A person like hat would be late whether they wore makeup or not.

  3. I agree. Thank you for posting about this issue! I love the way I look with no makeup, and am definitely not suffering from low self esteem! When I choose to wear makeup, the reason I wear it is because it is fun! I love the different colors and I love exploring different looks. I hate stereotypes about women, and my boyfriend agrees that those comments are foolishness.

  4. This is a great post. I wear makeup because I like it and I like me.
    Nothing to do with my self esteem.

  5. A lot of times its just the women who have low self esteem picking on women who look good with makeup on. My oldest daughter in her 20’s always picks on my youngest (teenager) on how long it takes to get ready because she likes to look natural, but emphasize her favorite features like her eyelashes (tightlining, mascara)
    Makeup isn’t about covering anything up (Okay maybe a pimple or something), but its about emphasizing what you have, like eyelashes (Curling and using mascara to darken the lashes up) or your face, (putting foundation on, not to cover but to even out)

  6. Amen to that, sister! I’ve come to realize that regular men do not know anything about makeup and beauty unless they’re in the business. As long as a woman looks natural, men don’t think she has any makeup on. They just think she looks great. But the moment she puts that bright eyeshadow only, some of them are going to flip.

    It’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup if you do it artfully. Sometimes I wonder if men are insecure with their inner beauty or whatever that is. Real men appreciate their ladies dressing up when they go out together. The ones that criticize their spouses may have control issue.

  7. hi trish, love your post. just stumbled on your blog today. will deffo come back for more. 🙂

  8. @ Awilda: I’m glad your boyfriend is so wise! Agreed. Stereotypes of any group is just bogus. People shouldn’t make so many assumptions about us just because we are wearing makeup.

    @ Colleen: Me too. I wear it because I like it. That’s the biggest reason.

    @ Patricia: Yeah, it could be jealousy for some people. Then again, if we don’t want people to judge us just because we don’t wear makeup, maybe we shouldn’t assume a global reason for people not liking lots of makeup. Know what I mean?

    @ Dao: Yeah. It always seemed weird to me that some men would completely discount an entire group of women just because they wear makeup. That’s a really weird “Deal-Breaker”.

    @ Ranyah: Thanks! I’m glad you liked the post and the blog. Keep coming back!

  9. I am a guy and got up to research this very topic and came across your post. What I am seeing here is that most of the persons replying are saying they will use makeup sometimes or use it to accentuate a feature.
    However what about the ladies that will not leave home without it? I believe that either they believe that they will stand out more with makeup on or they feel that they are too plain without it. It really depends on your motive for wearing makeup. Sub consciously self esteem play a part is a great majority of ladies who wear makeup – because wearing it makes them feel better about themselves. What is the purpose of the makeup? to enhance your outer appearance. Ladies who are focused on their inner self and full of confidence don’t rely on makeup everyday. Some ladies you meet them in makeup and without it you pass them and would not even recognize them!

  10. Why on earth would you want to change the way you look? “Quit hating on us beauty goddesses!” Oh, so you are not a beauty “godess” before you put a can of freaking chemicles on your face? Guys have a right to choose if they want to date a girl who wears make-up or not. If they didn’t, that would be retarted. And you are doing the same as them. There acctually is a connection between women who wear make-up and low self-esteem. If there wasn’t, why do women only wear make-up when they go out? Wearing make-up because you “like it” is not a good enough reason to just brush off the fact that your self-esteem is low. What do you like about it. Probabally, “I look so pretty, like a godess!” Oh, so you were LESS pretty before. Hmmm.

  11. Where is the evidence that using makeup has a correlation with low self-esteem? Is there actually a scientific study to back this up, or are you using anecdotal evidence and your own opinion?

    My guess would be that there is no correlation between makeup and self-esteem, but if there is a correlation at all, it is likely in the opposite relationship. Sometimes women who have low self-esteem won’t make the time and effort to present themselves in a way that makes them feel proud.

    I enjoy taking that extra time for my makeup in the morning. It’s an artistic expression and a completely feminine indulgence. It’s just a little time for self-love.

    The dating comment is hilarious. Of course, if a man doesn’t want to date me because I wear make-up, then we wouldn’t be a good match, and I wouldn’t want to date him either. I’d prefer to keep company with someone who respects my right to choose my own beauty routine.

    I wonder what the makeup haters think about wearing nice clothing and jewelry. Wearing makeup is part of one’s overall presentation. Do you think that people who wear ragged, outdated clothing have high self-esteem and that people who wear nice clothes have low self-esteem, which they are attempting to repair by dressing nicely? This is the same logic, but demonstrates the absurdity of it perhaps a bit more clearly.

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