Worst Makeup on the Internet: A Culture of Negativity

This morning, I came across an article about makeup on the internet (as posted by PinkSith) that decided to post photos of the “worst makeup on the internet” featuring photos of real people–not celebrities–who had the audacity to share those photos on the internet. Aside from the article being poorly researched (several of the looks I recognized as done in a certain vein/for a specific purpose, some even as parodies, most notably Queen of Blending’s hilarious makeup tutorial), their commentary and the purpose of their article seems largely intended to be mean-spirited given the focus is on how “horrible” the makeup is rather than “do this, not that.” No doubt intended to be seething and go viral–but what a shame to see a large, professional website look to drive the self-esteem down of real women.

We’re not trying to be mean, we just thought these pictures were bad enough to bring to your attention. In fact, we even think these real women are brave — or a little nuts — for not caring what people think about their makeup, and freely posting their photos online for all to see.

There are enough problems with boosting the self-esteem of our youth (and our adults, for that matter) in general that the last thing we need are dedicated articles that put down people for doing what? Expressing their creativity? Having fun? Parodying a look? Deliberately doing something avant garde and out-of-the-box?  Isn’t the reason why we all love makeup so much is because of the way it allows us to express ourselves in colors, hues, finishes, textures, and shapes?  Isn’t one of the greatest things about makeup that it’s washable?  You can wear blue blush and rock it and love it, and you can wear beige eyeshadow the very the next day.  You can go as bold or as subtle as you want to.

There’s a big difference in giving someone constructive criticism and being cruel.  Constructive criticism is about genuinely trying to help someone improve an area, which means it points out the problem and provides some detail about how to fix it or why it is a problem.  If you have to start a statement with, “I don’t mean to be rude, but,” or “I’m not trying to be mean, but” you may want to re-think what you were going to say.  Apologizing in advance for being mean, rude, or what-have-you, is not a justification to be such.  “I’m sorry, but you look hideous in blue eyeshadow,” is different from, “I think it could work if you just used it on the inner corner” or “Have you tried purple eyeshadow? I think that would be more flattering on you!”

Just this weekend, I saw part of an old episode of What Not to Wear, and yet again, a woman who broke down at being asked if she felt or thought she was pretty.  Why can’t we feel beautiful about ourselves? Why are we taught to criticize ourselves and everyone else?  Why do we spend more time breaking others down than building them up?  I don’t understand it, and I lived through it to a T when I was in junior high and high school.  I didn’t start believing I was beautiful and worthy of praise until a few years ago.  I want people to feel good about themselves and be honest with themselves; to know their flaws and to work on them but to also appreciate all of the positive attributes they possess as well–and not just how they look but how they feel, how they think, and what their abilities are.