I’m not making this up

The pressure and expectation to be “perfect” continues to affect the confidence of young girls.


Although makeup can serve as a confidence booster for some, for others it suffices as a mask to hide behind. Society has created distorted images and unrealistic expectations of who we should be and what we should look like.

The very fact that makeup exists means that some females feel they have it wear it every day. Do you have baggy eyes from a lack of sleep? No problem! Cover them up with some tinted moisturizer. A pimple on the side of your chin that just won’t go away? Don’t stress! Get out your concealer and call it a day.

We, as females, depend greatly on makeup and creams to cover up our blemishes and imperfections. In a 2013 report, InStyle reported that the average woman spends around $15,000 in makeup during her lifetime. That statistic alone is astounding.

Personally, I hate makeup. I feel greasy and gross when I wear it. I rarely ever wear it. Especially because I go to an all-girls school, my makeup bag hardly gets opened during the week. My skin isn’t perfect to begin with. Caking on foundation and blush doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better. I’d rather go with the natural route. This is not the case for everyone though.

Some girls feel the need to always wear makeup. There are plenty reasons why a girl may choose to wear makeup. It may be simply because she enjoys applying it and is fascinated and intrigued by the world of cosmetics. But it could also be because of insecurity or a lack of confidence.

For some, makeup acts as a shield for girls to hide behind. It serves as a cover-up for their self-doubt. It’s important to remember what’s really important, though. What lies underneath the layers of foundation and eyeshadow is a person — a person both beautiful and unique in her own way.

Recently, singer Alicia Keys stepped out on the red carpet at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards without wearing makeup. Keys has continued to flaunt her natural beauty on the hit show, The Voice, on which she is a judge.

Keys made headlines. Newspapers, fans, and the public were all confused and blown away. Finally, a famous celebrity was stepping out as a confident, natural, and beautiful being.

“I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves,” Keys wrote in Lenny Letter. “My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I build over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself. . . the universe was finally listening!”

Keys has since inspired young girls everywhere to express the same confidence in their own skin.

“Ever since I saw Alicia Keys at the MTV Awards, I’ve had such a new outlook on beauty,” junior Catie Coffman said. “She is so cool for doing that. If one of the most famous artists in the industry can feel comfortable being on television without makeup, then maybe I can be just as confident.”

At Mercy High School, it’s somewhat unusual for girls to wear makeup. Unless there’s a boy panel or it’s picture day, Mercy girls tend to sport the disheveled bun and crinkly uniform.
“I don’t feel insecure or uncomfortable about how I look when I’m at school,” sophomore Maddy Cachet said. “I’m able to learn in an environment and hang out where I don’t have to worry about my skin or my hair, which is so nice.”

Senior Emily McCann agrees. “Mercy has given me confidence because after school, I usually go places and I don’t have any makeup on since I don’t wear it to school,” McCann said. “I feel comfortable in my natural skin at school because Mercy girls don’t care whether my blemish is covered or not.”

Personally, I agree. I believe Mercy girls do a good job of accepting each other and embracing differences. What makes us different also makes us special and unique.

Sure, I may have a few pimples that might look a little better if I applied concealer or cover-up. The bags under my eyes are most definitely not designer and could probably use some cream. That being said, I am comfortable in my own skin, and that is what’s important.

As Keys wrote, “It would be so amazing to just accept each other how we are. I think the most important thing is you do what feels good for you.” Amen Alicia Keys, amen.