“Natural Beauty”

When I was younger, I often enjoyed playing around with makeup. I was one to watch the variety of beauty vloggers and makeup artists on Youtube, as well as shows such as Monster Man and Face Off. Someone then pointed out to me the hypocrisy of my enjoyment in such things, as they are “unnatural” and implied that is a product of a (sexist) civilization, and stated that women who do not partake in the application of cosmetics are much more beautiful, because what is more natural is more beautiful. Now, normally I would agree for the most part, however…

The implication that the use of cosmetics is the creation of civilization is borderline on implying that art is a creation of civilization, which is simply untrue. There are many diverse, uncivilized cultures which include various forms of body modification, including piercings, hairstyles and face paints. The purpose behind such things can range from beauty standards, to spiritual rituals, to social status, and more. All of these things, or the expression of them, are an intergral part of human nature. 

Actually, it would be nearly unheard of to find a society of humans that consisted of individuals who have intentionally tried to leave their bodies in a sort of “pristine condition.” In fact, it is speculated by some anthropologists that one of the very reasons we humans have so little body hair is to aid us in communication. Visual communication. With so little hair (and an advanced cerebellum and opposable thumbs) we have the almost unique ability of using our bodies as a canvas.

Essentially, we were evolved to look fabulous. (Ha)