Makeup is a woman’s right not a gender privilege.


Applying makeup is more than just a fashion trend it’s part of being a woman. For far too long women who love makeup have been labelled as superficial and by a fanatical few as dissolute. As a girl I grew up with a mother who shied away from makeup and was the ultimate ‘au naturale’. A devout catholic prayer warrior she was more like a nun than a woman of the world.
I on the other hand loved to paint my nails, face, dolls and once even attempted to beautify a calf in my granny’s farm! My mother unlike all the other religious stoics who tend to shame girls like me, encouraged me saying, “If you’re gonna paint yourself try to do it right!’
Yes, my mother had an extremely unique modus, a sincere matter of fact style that didn’t involve any sugar coated nonsense. For me she was the ultimate woman, she did whatever she liked out of choice, no fear propaganda or social norms that she felt obliged to adhere to. There was only one person to please and that was God, if her actions would shame her in front of her creator then that was all the deterrent she needed.
Which isn’t to say she wasn’t flawed, a lot more than others because she was transparent, she never felt the need to hide or pretend and so was always pointed at. A great learning model for me because it taught me that there is no pleasing anyone and there is only one who truly matters and he is on my side. Armed with that knowledge and conviction I can proudly inform you that I have battled some of the worst traumas one can possibly face in life and you know what? I’m still standing strong, bat ready to face whatever life can possibly throw at me and I do it in style! Fingernails painted and makeup on, I am ready.
So you have a colicky baby that doesn’t let you sleep through the night, an illness that drains the colour out of your face, personal crisis that makes you crawl into a corner and bawl your eyes out, who says you need to look the part. I know I don’t and if you want to it’s ok, I respect that.
I grew up loathing pity; I hated if anyone felt sorry for me, and did all I could to look strong and confidant even if I was falling apart inside. Makeup empowers me, I may not be able to make my baby sleep through the night but I can sure hide those dark circles. Life doesn’t have to win all the rounds.
According to research people have been painting themselves since the beginning of time, it’s a way of establishing control and reinforcing one’s identity. No wonder the first thing most religious dictatorships do is to ban cosmetics. Strip a woman of her right to celebrate her individuality and establish her identity and you have a broken, lost soul ready for manipulation. Allow only women in the sex trade access to cosmetics and you subconsciously reinforce the idea that a woman’s beauty is only for male pleasure.
A research by Dr. Richard Russell, a psychology professor at Gettysburg College, sates that the only way a face gets classified as male or female is by facial contrasts. Women tend to have lighter skin, darker eyes and lips than men. No wonder that the basic elements of makeup consists of foundation, mascara and lipstick. All we are trying to do is stress our identity, we are female and we are beautiful.
For all the opponents of cosmetics I ask, “Who are you?” 9 times out of 10 we all reply with reference to our gender. This is who I am, a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a writer. I don’t love makeup or fashion but they are an integral part of my life, I brush my teeth and I apply make up. I am a woman, why shouldn’t I do what I want and look how I feel inside, which is beautiful? There are days when I want to look plain and ordinary, and many, many more days when I want to look gorgeous, why shouldn’t I?

Is it superficial to enhance your feminine attributes? Do you do courses to enhance your trade? Do you eat right and exercise to look fit and healthy? Do you dress well because you feel good about it? Do you get a haircut and groom yourself to look polished? Most importantly do you smile when you look at a beautiful person? I do and I like to be that beautiful person too.



  1. Rightly said Antonia.. My mom is the same as yours. Such an austere life but she loves watching me applying eye liner. She says I’m beautiful. You know whenever I go to my parents’ house, I try to put on little make up on her. Laughingly she has “I now look like a clown”.. Ha hahaha

    • I feel blessed to have such an angel for a mum! Makeup is an acquired taste, it does ‘feel’ funny for the first time. Like when your Optometrist says you need glasses and you hide away for a while, few months later it feels odd without them.

  2. Some churches here brand women who make-up as ‘worldly.’ That irritates me a lot, because I don’t see anywhere in the bible where it was condemned. Even Esther, who later became queen, underwent intensive beauty care before she appearing in the king’s court alongside other women. For me, I love ladies who know how to look good. I address them as ‘babes.’ Glad you shared this one, Antonia.

    • Exactly! I think it is worldly of people to dub women who apply makeup as worldly. It should be our actions and that classify us, if at all. some of these so called worldly women are the kindest, and most compassionate people i have come across. Most of the non makeup women ‘tend’ (I am not generalising here, just trying to make a point) to be harshly judgmental and quite critical. I think its about time we as a society stopped judging people and trying to coerce everyone into accepting one way of thought and behaviour. We are people, free children of God, not machines out of an assembly line! the only thing we should do is try to please God and no where in the bible does it say do not apply makeup. There is a mention that virtues are better than finely braided hair but it doesn’t condemn the use of makeup. A woman is encouraged to ‘please her husband’, virtues can only do so much! LMAO

  3. Most people don’t realize that some of the earliest remains of ancient Egypt is literally a makeup holder. Obviously, they used it for purposes of keeping the harsh sun out of their eyes, but I’m sure that a desire for aesthetics evolved with the usage. Interesting post.

    • Pots of red oxide for colouring the lips I believe, if memory serves me right. Even if you look at all tribal cultures, decoration by tattoo, paint, feathers, branches, leaves, etc. Were practiced globally. Females have always darkened their eyes and lips, no one ever decided to colour their nose purple! This post is in response to a person on a forum I visited, criticising women for using cosmetics. Bet that guy is the first one who turns his head when a gorgeous woman walks in with full makeup on! Lol!

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