I am a feminist.
I am a make-up-wearing, clothing-obsessed feminist. I read InStyle Magazine and always leave Sephora with glittery swatches lining my arms.
Even though I care about my appearance, I still fiercely and vehemently consider myself a feminist. Although, there have been times when I have wondered if by beautifying myself each morning that I am compromising my agency as a woman.
I have heard other women, women whom I respect and admire, talk about their appearance as though it was shameful to put effort into how they look. They expressed feelings of distaste towards those who chose to wear eyeliner and pretty dresses that hugged their curves.
Do they have this opinion because they think makeup decreases their value? Or perhaps they think men will not take them as seriously if they wear lipstick? I have wondered about these questions on several occasions, and each time I have still ended up with the same conclusion: I feel better and more confident when I wear makeup.
Feminism, particularly intersectional feminism, is the understanding that everyone should be treated with equal respect and acceptance. Intersectional feminism is a specific form of feminism that encompasses all genders, sexes, and aims to create and protect equal rights for every individual, regardless of how they live their life.
If a woman decides to wear makeup, it does not hinder the intersectional feminist cause. By encouraging everyone to live their best lives, we are only strengthening the feminist movement. History has glared down upon women who dared to live colorfully and it is now time to embrace their individuality rather than reject it.
And while I personally do not wear makeup for any other reasons besides the confidence I feel each time I draw the perfect cat eye or wear a bright red lipstick, it is not our place to judge or criticize anyone’s reasons for how they look.
Physical appearance should in no way impact the amount of respect they receive. As a woman, I feel strong and independent, which is a fundamental pillar of feminism. And by supporting other women who have different values than me, I am further demonstrating that I am a feminist, regardless of my glittery eyeshadow or Sephora membership card.