Flaws as Fashion: Expression or Exploitation?

It seems all too easy to become inundated by the ever-changing fashion and makeup trends of today’s society. The internet and social media provide instant accessibility to whatever is ‘new’ and ‘trending’, and the chances of something going viral is nothing far from the usual these days.

Features such as ‘for you’ and ‘explore’ pages on social media platforms tend to thrust the latest trends to users, and the ‘endless scroll’ effect only makes this more and more compulsive. Though we are free to present ourselves in our own way with regards to fashion and makeup, it seems important to consider how we go about it, and whether following trends possibly disregards people who cannot control or change their natural features.“

There are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok allow users to express and share their creativity and individuality in all types of ways. When it comes to fashion and makeup trends, social media appears to be the ‘go-to’; makeup techniques and tutorials are able to be demonstrated with pictures, videos and text boxes, and shared with hyperlinks and hashtags. This is all very positive, and ideal for viewers to learn new ideas and be provided with some inspiration.

The most recent trends in makeup have been somewhat a mimic of some people’s natural features, such as freckles, reddened cheeks and under-eye circles. Eyeliner, heavy blush and bold eyeshadows have been used to create these effects, however it can be questioned whether these seem to undermine people who naturally have such features and would perhaps feel insecure about.

That is one thing about the nature of social media and the internet – there are constant changes in what is ‘on trend’, which in turn, suggests what is considered desirable and attractive in that moment. In this sense, it is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features.“

It is difficult to decipher whether this is a move towards body positivity or one that ignores those who perhaps, at some point, had been shamed for naturally having such features

On the one hand, it is important to embrace and normalise features which some people may feel diffident about. Fortunately, the modern world is becoming increasingly aware of normalising people’s flaws and insecurities, and attempting to dismiss the notion of being ‘perfect’.

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want. Therefore, these makeup trends are not necessarily something which we are obligated to follow, but rather an imaginative expression which offer a different approach to makeup styling.

The other side of the coin is that the term ‘trend’ suggests that it will at some point become unpopular, which therefore undermines people who naturally have features such as under-eye circles or rosacea. It is may read as derogatory to label their appearance as ‘on’ or ‘out’ of trend.

This can be likened to the way in which bodily features seem to fall in and out of trend, and the paradox which this subsequently causes. It is possible for people to become confused and conscious about their physical appearance, if it does not complement the current trend, and whether society considers it worthy enough. Even when the trend is eventually brushed off, it is not guaranteed that such feelings will disappear too.“

Makeup, on a basic level, is art, and is something which has no rules or requirements; we are free to use and wear it however we want

As such, it is clear that trends in makeup can spark some controversy. Whilst makeup continues to be a fantastic creative outlet for many people, we should keep in mind what trends we follow and whether they are showcased in a considerate and mindful way towards other people who may perceive them differently.

Source: Red Brick

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