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Final Major Project – Behind the Mask of Cosmetics

When I look through images posted on social media platforms, I see lots of images of women wearing make-up and very few of women not wearing any.

“Make-up can help express someone’s creativity or help someone feel better about themselves, but it can also be seen as a mask to hide all the imperfections she has and that she believes she wouldn’t be accepted for.”

– (Diocesefwsb2.instructure.com, 2017)

As someone who does not wear make-up, I am not drawn into the advertising that tries to convince us that we need it to make us look more perfect and beautiful. One such example of shown in figure 1, where the implication is that using the product will produce radiant and flawless skin and that with contouring techniques, make-up can improve your appearance.

Figure 1: (Arta Chic, 2017)

In today’s social media world, appearance is everything. Although make-up can be used to improve people’s lives and give confidence to those who have skin problems such as acne etc., it has become expected that women will use it to conform to society’s idea of perfection. These days flawless skin and hair are now the expected norm.

So why do I not wear it? Two reasons really. The first is that I have sensitive skin and so am always worried about allergic reactions. The second and stronger reason is that I do not have the time or inclination and really cannot be bothered with applying make-up each day. I have never felt the need or desire to use it. Mind, I was not brought up with the social media and advertising pressures that today’s youth face.

Many women hide behind their mask of make-up. I know women who feel naked and won’t leave their house if they are not wearing make-up. We need to promote the message that make-up will not change your life. It should not become the thing we use to fit in and conform to what others expect. Just because others use it, we should not feel obliged to do so.

“Cosmetics should be used to enhance someone’s natural self, not create it.”

– (Diocesefwsb2.instructure.com, 2017)

So for some, their make-up has been come a mask to hide behind, for others it is used on the face like a canvas to express who they are. As a viewer, how do we know which is a mask and which is a creative expression? This is why it is so hard to look behind the mask to see the real person.


Diocesefwsb2.instructure.com. (2017). Behind The Mask: Cosmetics vs. Society: American Long-Form. [online] Available at: https://diocesefwsb2.instructure.com/courses/6077/pages/behind-the-mask-cosmetics-vs-society [Accessed 30 Dec. 2017].


YouTube. (2017). Dermablend Professional: Cassandra’s Camo Confession. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=121&v=3KmV-zy6Zxc [Accessed 30 Dec. 2017].


Figure 1: Arta Chic. (2017). Beautiful Beauty Ads. [online] Available at: https://artachic.com/2012/10/30/beautiful-beauty-ads/ [Accessed 30 Dec. 2017].


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