Why no makeup selfies are problematic

Twitter post by Gina Shkeda in 2017.

Nowadays there are many trends that go around the internet, many of which serve the purpose of empowering women, and some of which backfire and create more issues. One of the latter trends is “no makeup selfies”.

This has been pioneered by many celebrities such as Gal Gadot, Kylie Jenner and Lea Michele to try to take down the unrealistic beauty expectations set by the media and presented by celebrities. Theoretically, by seeing celebrities without makeup, we’ll see that these gorgeous beings just look like regular people when they’re not wearing makeup. But they really just set up more unrealistic expectations not for what people should look like with makeup, but without it.

This is because while these celebrities are trying to show what “natural beauty” looks like, and assure us that they “don’t really look like that”, even without makeup they still have flawless skin, microbladed brows, eyelash extensions, lip injections and other expensive procedures. Most people can’t afford all of those changes to their appearance, and instead of reversing the unrealistic expectations for beauty, no makeup selfies increase the unrealistic expectations.     

While they are technically “no makeup” selfies, they are not representations of what those stars really look like, i.e. their “natural beauty”. Gina Shkeda handled this issue well when her selfie went viral. When a fan commented: “If I could wake up as beautiful as @GinaShkeda I’d be the happiest girl alive #naturalbeauty”, Shkeda gave the best and most honest response she could.

“Girl I have microbladed brows, lash extensions in and lip injections- I don’t even look like this. You’re flawless.”

This is how celebrities need to handle their no makeup selfies. They need to stop claiming their “natural beauty” and own up to their more permanent alterations if they really want to put an end to unrealistic beauty expectations.

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