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The freedom of choice through history

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The freedom of choice through history

photo used with permission of Deb Kinne

photo used with permission of Deb Kinne

photo used with permission of Deb Kinne

Rachel Brauer, staff writer

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Apron on, duster in hand, and always wearing lipstick may have been the picture perfect wife of the past, but these outdated standards no longer determine women’s choice for wearing makeup.

“Throughout many centuries, makeup has been a necessity for women. It was like a part of their identity,” Deb Kinne, an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics, said. “Even during the Great Depression, women would do whatever it took to get their hands on makeup.”

Women saw makeup as a representation of happier times and the ability to keep a part of their former selves, Kinne said. Part of their choice to wear makeup came from societal expectations.

“During the Holocaust, when women were in concentration camps and completely degraded in every sense of the word – their hair was shorn off, their teeth were pulled out if they had gold fillings – women would smuggle in lipstick because that was their one connection to being female,”Julie Osterhaus, an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and English Teacher, said. “It was their one way that they could feel feminine in such an awful scenario.”

Teenage girls today are wearing makeup for the wrong reasons, Kinne said. Instead of wearing it to improve their self esteem and help them feel more feminine, they are wearing makeup to hide themselves.

“Makeup should really be used to enhance ones beauty, but I’m constantly seeing teenagers nowadays with too much makeup,” Kinne said. “These girls are so beautiful under all of the makeup and you can’t see that if they aren’t letting their natural features be the main center of attention on their face.”

When it comes to creating the perfect appearance in this media consumed culture, women have unrealistic photoshopped images shoved in their faces, constantly telling them who they should be and why they aren’t good enough, Osterhaus said.

“I think the media has a skewed view of what a women should look like. Often times we hear so many negative messages in this world. People are always being put down or insulted about how they’re not good enough or what they didn’t do right,” Osterhaus said. “There’s just so much negativity that I think part of [make up] is creating an environment where they can have a positive self image of themselves.”

With this, there is still the expectation that women should wear makeup as a requirement to being professional. Some may consider this their war paint and others completely disagree, according to Osterhaus.

“I think wearing makeup to look professional is about ‘do you want to be taken seriously in this world?’ and unfortunately we live in a world that’s very visual,” Osterhaus said. “So when you take pride in how you look, I think that shows a picture in how you view yourself and seeing yourself as valuable enough to take care of yourself. Part of valuing yourself is valuing your appearance and saying that you’re worth it.”

Women should wear if it makes them happy and if it helps them feel good about themself, Osterhaus said. It is ultimately up to the person, but that should be their main motivation.

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About the Writer
Rachel Brauer, Secretary & Business Manager

This will be Rachel's third year on staff. After being a staff writer for two years, she has been given the opportunity this year to take on the responsibilities...

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