Author's Note: Any opinions expressed in this article are not meant to offend. Please give me some constructive criticism in the BBS - I wrote this for my English class and I'd really like some advice. Be as harsh as you like.
Orange faces and panda eyes are just two of the most common things we see. And yes, I know what you're thinking: we're in a jungle, right? Wrong! That was a pretty good guess, though; we?re in a school and everyone knows that it?' almost directly related to the Amazon rainforest. No, we've not encountered a new race of orange-faced panda-eyed mutants - fear not! - we've just encountered something that can only be summed up in one word: make-up.
The memories that branch from this word are simply terrifying; tales of woe, desperation and bright blue eye shadow still haunt me to this day. Even the mere action of writing the word triggers a series of minor panic attacks that inevitably ends in a mental breakdown on my part. But for those of you who don't have an internal world war three when the word is mentioned, be prepared to take cover; very soon you may find yourself in the midst of falling bombs.
We all know that today's society is just about as shallow as my bathtub - it puts so much emphasis on appearance, something that, in reality, one cannot help. For those of us not blessed with Emma Watson-like beauty, we meet harsh judgments in the real world and online. Since looks are something that we're stuck with, many people often turn to make-up and (more and more frequently) cosmetic surgery, in order to achieve the current beauty ideal. Women are more or less 'expected' to wear make-up nowadays and those who refuse to conform to this unspoken convention are often shunned. Since when did our nation become so conceited?
As we dive deeper and deeper into the 21st century, the pressure to look attractive increases. We're taught to conceal our imperfections, hide our flaws and reshape our faces, masking the true beauty that lies within. And sure, this doesn't seem like much; after all, it's makeup - you can just wash it off! However, the ultimate repercussions are more serious than you may think; by covering up so much of who we are, do we send a positive message to the next generation? Are we telling them that what matters is on the inside? We say so much - so many beautiful, inspirational things - but do we live our lives by them? We can say that everyone is beautiful, in his or her own way, but do we really mean it? Right now, we're seeing girls as young as nine and ten wear foundation, lipstick and eyeliner on a daily basis - these are all cosmetics we would expect to see on a woman in her twenties upwards. Is this healthy? And what does this say about us?
With make-up becoming an ever-present element in many women's lives, some have reached the point where they are unable to go outside without applying the stuff. This represents a sad time for humanity; we are so focused on what we want to be that we forget to be grateful who we are and what we have. Look at yourself. No, without make-up - your mirror won't crack, I promise! Do you see that? That's you - the real you. You don't need powders or creams to make you look any more beautiful than you already are. What you do need is to believe in yourself. Because you know what? I believe in you.