More than a pretty face

The hidden effects of cosmetics

Beneficial for some people for various reasons, makeup use can also have unintended consequences beyond skincare.

Ian Dooley / Unsplash

Beneficial for some people for various reasons, makeup use can also have unintended consequences beyond skincare.

Bilal Suleiman, Opinion Columnist

I don’t know much about makeup. I’ve never bought any, nor have I ever used any. Everything I know about makeup comes from what girls have told me and from my own experience watching girls put on makeup.  

The feminine ritual of spending tens and even hundreds of dollars on cosmetics that they painstakingly apply each morning seems to be universal among women. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to look better. Why else would we go to the gym?  

But with makeup, it seems to have gotten to a point where the beauty products cause more harm than good. Below I will outline the reasons why makeup should be made illegal. 

Makeup lowers self-esteem. Girls are becoming increasingly self-conscious about their physical appearance and at increasingly younger ages.  

Events like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the Miss Universe beauty pageant do nothing to help this phenomenon and are in fact contributing to it. Young girls tuning in to these shows begin to absorb the idea that their value lies in their physical appearance. It is unhealthy.  

Instead, we should reinforce the idea that internal beauty is more important than physical looks.  

Makeup reinforces traditional gender roles. The patriarchal culture in America is indisputably in the favor of males. The use of makeup promotes the idea that women must always look perfect when in the public’s eye. It has gotten to the point where some women won’t leave the house without having put on makeup.  

The banning of makeup would shift the culture in the favor of women, who would be freed from the pressure of having to look perfect all the time. It would ultimately help close the social disparity between men and women today. 

Makeup is bad for animals. New beauty products still in the developmental stages of production get tested on animals to see if they are safe for human use. According to the Humane Society, one of the tests used by companies involves applying chemicals to a rabbit’s eye to observe its effects, which can include redness, bleeding, ulcers and blindness.   

The European Union, Israel and India have banned the sale of any cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients that have been tested on animals, according to PETA. No such laws exist in the US, however, so companies are free to test their products as they see fit.  

I have been told by girls that vegan options are available in the United States, but they are much more expensive so many girls are forced to purchase the cheaper, animal-tested products. 

Banning makeup would save time and money. I asked several female friends to approximate how much time they spend on their makeup routines. The answers I got ranged from 15 minutes to upwards of two hours every day, depending on the occasion. As for the money spent, it really depends on whether you purchase drug store or premier products. I got answers ranging from $50 a month on the low end, to up to $400 a month on the higher end.  

As a male who doesn’t use make up, these answers boggle my mind. Think about all the time spent just putting on makeup. That extra time could be used for something much more productive, like sleeping. The money  spent also adds up.  

Ultimately, it would just be easier for everyone if makeup was made illegal. I rest my case. 

Bilal Suleiman is a columnist for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]