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Dear Farley, I’m fine

| Thursday, December 4, 2014

When I look at myself in the mirror in the morning, I’m not disgusted. I’ve come to terms with the features of my face that society might find less than optimal. My acne scars and I are all right, my nose is just fine as it is.

I find nothing wrong with embracing the natural beauty of every single person on this campus. I think it should be encouraged! Urging people to not “wear ANY makeup” and to “have confidence in your natural beauty!” tells me that if I wear makeup, it’s the result of a lack of confidence. The “Be Fine: 1 day without makeup” event that Farley Hall is putting on this week has everyone’s best interest at heart, I have no doubt, but it sends the wrong message to this campus.

People who choose to wear makeup don’t necessarily have low self-esteem. People who choose not to wear makeup don’t necessarily have high self-esteem. I wear makeup because I enjoy having the ability to emphasize the features on my face I want to, and I can downplay other features. I can make my makeup match my mood, and have my face reflect how I feel on the inside — be it dramatic eyeliner or an understated “natural” look.

I recognize that using makeup because you are trying to meet societal expectations could present a problem. But shaming makeup users isn’t the answer. Think of makeup as a sort of less permanent tattoo; an art form through which I can express myself every single day if I so choose.

The only person you should wear makeup for is yourself. If someone says you’re prettier with or without makeup, you don’t need to listen to them. Do it because it feels right, or makes you feel more confident. I definitely don’t wear blue and gold lipstick because I think it’s more attractive than my natural face — I wear it because it’s game day. It’s how I want to look, and I’m fine with that.

I’ll be wearing makeup on December 4th, not because I feel that I need to hide, but because I want to be wearing it. That is the only reason anyone should be wearing makeup at all.

Natalie Wozniak



Dec. 3rd


The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • A Guy in Pink

    Dear Natalie, it’s not about you.

    That’s great that you have self-confidence; I’m happy for you. With the increasing prevalence of psychological and physiological disorders in young women as a result of skewed perceptions of the female body, it is wonderful to hear that you are not succumbing to the media driven maelstrom of insecurity. But that’s not the point.
    As a self-proclaimed individual who is confident in her body image, you more than anyone else should see this not as an opportunity to relieve your own insecurities but rather to show solidarity for those others who are not as strong or brazenly confident as you are. Every other day of the year, by all means wear makeup for yourself. But maybe, just for one day, you can try to do something selfless for someone else.

    • jayamartin

      “Maybe, just for one day, you can try to do something selfless for someone else.”

      She wants to wear makeup. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t done anything selfless all day.

    • 36

      But should the focus be on make-up? A good number of my friends, some from within my family, have suffered from mental disorders, including eating disorders, and what helped them through the experience was not so much displays of solidarity or recognizing themselves as naturally beautiful. I myself have also struggled with disordered eating. The most significant thing that has helped was not so much finding beauty in our flaws and blemishes, but moving on from the appearance of our bodies by finding joy and contentment in our identity and self, in our relationships, and in the work we do. Rather than recognizing “natural beauty,” I think the focus should be on self-representation and recognizing the excellent qualities and capabilities that the women on our campus bring. We don’t need to have physical attractiveness, even if it’s meant to be encouraging, so much on our minds when there is so much more to focus on.