GeneralSorry Julie Bindel, binning makeup doesn't make you a...

Sorry Julie Bindel, binning makeup doesn’t make you a feminist


- Advertisment -spot_img

Wearing make up has always been one of the most radical things a woman can do.

In an article penned for the Independent this week, journalist Julie Bindel claimed that women getting rid of their make up is a ‘far more radical’ statement than burning your bra. To that I ask, what is more radical than not doing what you’re told?

The article in question, written by Julie Bindel

Makeup has existed almost as long as modern-day humans have. Egyptians used red ochre to colour their lips, ancient Greeks dusted powder over their cheeks and Romans used fruits as skin dyes.

And as long as women have been wearing it, they have been criticized.

By reducing make up to ‘slap’, Bindel vastly underestimates the exact power of makeup for so many women across the world, and across the millennia. The confidence, control and power that so many people gain from it cannot be ignored. For her, there may be power in going without it, but for many women make up has a different name; ‘war paint’.

If Bindel was truly a transformative feminist, she would have read about how the suffragettes fought against sexist depictions of prostitutes by wearing and reclaiming the famous ‘whorish’ red lipstick during their protests. Or about how a few short decades later, the arrival of large quantities of the same red lipstick to the liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp became the first step to returning humanity and hope to the starved, abused Jewish women who had had everything stripped from them by Nazi soldiers. That tiny slither of femininity and body autonomy made a huge difference.

Liberated women at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945 (By No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit)

Makeup has been a feminist weapon for decades. Whether women have been choosing to wear it, or to not wear it, it’s the choice that has always been debated and fought over. A call for women to throw theirs away isn’t revolutionary, it’s incredibly anti-feminist.

Whilst we disagree on some things, some parts of Julie Bindel’s article are true. The pressure on women to look perfect, to be constantly working on their appearance and to buy more and more products to do so is a worsening issue in the 21st Century. According to Statista, the market value of the beauty industry in the UK has increased by over €2000 million since 2013 ( Making women feel insignificant is a very profitable business. But attacking women for exercising their right to free expression is not a good way to target this.

Women wear makeup for a wide range of different reasons. To feel confident, to feel powerful, to feel beautiful. To feel as though you own your body in a world that often likes to remind you that you do not. Makeup has always been deeply ingrained in human culture, and probably always will be. Any feminism that tells women what to do is not really feminism at all. So, wear as much or as little makeup as you want; either way, the fact that you have a choice is what is important.

Ellen Lovell
Ellen Lovell
Ellen Lovell is a final year Music Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. As a queer woman from a working-class background, Ellen is really into writing about politics, LGBTQ+ issues and feminism, and really not into media sensationalism. She is a firm believer that education is the absolute key to understanding the world around you, but you don’t need a university degree; learning about different points of view and getting out of your personal echo chamber is the best way to know more about the world around you. That’s exactly why she’s so proud to be writing for The Common Sense Network. In her spare time, Ellen can be found petting cats, playing video games and promoting her activism. She has experience in recording and producing podcasts and a radio show, and has written a range of articles for student magazines.

Latest news

‘They don’t care about our future’: 4 in 5 children don’t feel listened to by politicians

The biggest survey of children in England ever produced has revealed four in five children don’t feel listened to...

Tory donor ‘racism’ dispute is embarrassing for all involved

A Tory minister has said his party would take another £10m from a donor who allegedly made comments about...

Is David Cameron winning over critics?

One hundred days, thirty-six different visits to twenty-six different countries, and eight different multinational gatherings including the G20 and...

No Third-Way: How the two-party system is broken

British politics is to put it simply a mess. Even for those of us who might pride ourselves on...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

How does it end for Vladimir Putin?

By now, Russian President Vladimir Putin's interview with American conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson has reached over eighteen million...

Are Young Brits Becoming Less Democratic?

A recent study by the centre-right think tank Onward found that 65% of 18-35 year olds in the UK...

Must read

‘They don’t care about our future’: 4 in 5 children don’t feel listened to by politicians

The biggest survey of children in England ever produced...

Tory donor ‘racism’ dispute is embarrassing for all involved

A Tory minister has said his party would take...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you