Make-Up: The Pleasure to Please

By Ciara Daniel

When girls enter high school for the first time, many are confronted by the pressure to please and to fulfill the requirements for perfection established by modern society. Many girls feel that they have to live up to the body images of the models they see everywhere, in order to be the girls that all the boys talk about. Make-up seems like an easy way to hide one’s flaws and highlight one’s assets, but sometimes it seems as though girls are losing themselves when they become too dependent upon it.

Some argue that make-up serves as a means of expressing one’s self, while others maintain that gratuitous layers of make-up actually serve to conceal an individual’s true self from the rest of the world, and can in that way be viewed as a form of hiding. Speaking out regarding the use of make-up amongst high school students, Sophomore Alyssa Cotta states, “It’s okay to wear make-up. It’s a way to express yourself and your style, but if you’re going to go crazy make sure you know how to do it well.” Others, like Junior Drennon Nahia contend that the opposite is true and that, “Girls that wear too much make-up aren’t confident and they do it because they think they’ll be prettier” demonstrating the polarizing nature of the topic, even amongst the nation’s youth.

The make-up dilemma is one which is not confined solely to high school campuses, however, but also has been shown to profoundly impact adults in the business world. According to an article on, “A woman who goes to a job interview with a face free of makeup is seen as sloppy.” Further emphasizing the ability of this issue to affect adult members of society, in 2009 a waitress in San Diego, California was fired for not wearing make-up. Given the nature of the conflicting perceptions of make-up within our society, it would seem as though girls are stuck between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow that one’s success in this world is based largely on how one is perceived by others. But where do we, as a society, draw the line? Are we really living in a society in which make-up has the power to dictate whether or not a job interview goes well? Since when has not wearing make-up affected your ability to serve food? Girls are constantly being put under pressure to “perfect” themselves in a way they might not be comfortable with, something unacceptable in modern, civilized society. Though the issue of make-up within society is one which is not likely to be resolved in the immediate future, the fact remains; no amount of foundation, mascara, blush, or rouge, no matter how thickly they are applied, can change the fact that beauty is, and will remain, skin deep.