cyber1995
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I've been thinking about this a lot and I know that for both sides there are sound arguments. The typical it's for self-expression or it's masking insecurities.

My personal opinion - I think it's interesting that society views mens faces without makeup as natural but women faces as unattractive, even those who are clearly naturally incredibly attractive. There is this sense that the woman isn't trying hard enough or being presentable without makeup. (I know it's gotten better with no makeup makeup look and no makeup movement spear headed by celebrities). There are also men who struggle with self-image, but even then if society doesn't perceive a man as attractive, it is still acceptable, they wouldn't be considered any less professional or presentable? I hope I'm making actual sense.

I'm interested in what psychology students think, however open to theories from anyone. Is the act of putting makeup on inherently negative or positive and why? What is it saying about someones psychological state? Is it damaging that men are taught to be okay with their faces, whilst women are taught you need to alter this and this (even if it's temporary) for your face to be acceptable? or is this okay and can it be truly taught as a form self expression that isn't damaging to self image?
Last edited by cyber1995; 1 week ago
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DiddyDec
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It isn't "inherently" anything.

People use makeup for a variety of reasons but the world is not so black and white to label it positive or negative.
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artful_lounger
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Why are you specifically asking psychology students? If anything you should be asking anthropology students, or at least sociology students. They're the ones who actually study human culture and/or society...

It would be more productive and sensible to look at this from an anthropological perspective anyway. Your entire premise is based on the assumption of developed "Western" (and even then possibly primarily Anglo-sphere) countries' beauty ideals and social institutions. It's not uncommon for many societies outside of that narrow sphere to engage in practices of colouring or painting their faces or using other forms of would-be cosmetics to change their appearance, for whom the practices do not inherently define or reinforce gender roles of any form, and much less necessarily patriarchal gender roles as in "Western" cultures.

Exploring why this phenomena may be peculiarly "Western" and what we can learn about gender as a construct within that frame might be more interesting and/or relevant to what you're trying to figure out. Do men wear makeup in "Western" cultures? What is the response of the general public to men who do wear makeup in such cultures? Professionally, or personally? What arguments do e.g. feminist movements make about makeup and the cosmetics industry? Can you separate makeup in "Western" culture from the cosmetics industry and hence capitalism? Does the cosmetics industry, and more broadly capitalism as a social construct, benefit from encouraging (or enforcing) such gender roles as suggested?
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cyber1995
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Why are you specifically asking psychology students? If anything you should be asking anthropology students, or at least sociology students. They're the ones who actually study human culture and/or society...

It would be more productive and sensible to look at this from an anthropological perspective anyway. Your entire premise is based on the assumption of developed "Western" (and even then possibly primarily Anglo-sphere) countries' beauty ideals and social institutions. It's not uncommon for many societies outside of that narrow sphere to engage in practices of colouring or painting their faces or using other forms of would-be cosmetics to change their appearance, for whom the practices do not inherently define or reinforce gender roles of any form, and much less necessarily patriarchal gender roles as in "Western" cultures.

Exploring why this phenomena may be peculiarly "Western" and what we can learn about gender as a construct within that frame might be more interesting and/or relevant to what you're trying to figure out. Do men wear makeup in "Western" cultures? What is the response of the general public to men who do wear makeup in such cultures? Professionally, or personally? What arguments do e.g. feminist movements make about makeup and the cosmetics industry? Can you separate makeup in "Western" culture from the cosmetics industry and hence capitalism? Does the cosmetics industry, and more broadly capitalism as a social construct, benefit from encouraging (or enforcing) such gender roles as suggested?
I really don't mind who answers it. I get your point it is probably got to do with society and all those other factors. I was just wondering about the psychological aspect to it.
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pinesandapples2001
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Not a psychology student, but I'd say there's no harm in wearing makeup, men or women, as long as you don't get overly dependent on makeup for self-confidence ❤️
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cyber1995
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(Original post by pinesandapples2001)
Not a psychology student, but I'd say there's no harm in wearing makeup, men or women, as long as you don't get overly dependent on makeup for self-confidence ❤️
Fair enough
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