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Are You Addicted to Makeup?

March 13, 2012

A troubling new study from the Renfrew Center finds makeup has become an addicting crutch for women. Of the 1,292 women surveyed, when not in makeup, 44 percent felt negative about themselves, 16 percent felt “unattractive” and 14 percent felt “naked.” 25 percent of the women also started wearing makeup at 13 or younger.

The pressure is somehow understandable considering a recent study by Procter & Gamble that found that ladies wearing more makeup (or in science-speak, “varying intensities of luminance contrast”) were deemed to be more competent than their barefaced counterparts. This obsession with looking perfect may also explain the growing market for permanent makeup.

The message that women are getting, whether from scientific studies or well-intentioned mothers, is clear: makeup is a necessity to success. Feminist bloggers have tried reclaiming natural beauty with No Makeup Week -- inspiring women across the nation to take the barefaced plunge.

But is that enough of a dent? This dependence on makeup not only suggests a sad truth about the expectations of women (expectations that they have placed on themselves and that they have received from society) but, lest we forget the lead-in-lipstick fiasco that is still unresolved, it also poses a serious health risk. What will it take for us to stop reaching for the eyeliner?

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