The Uproar

A Different Kind of Vanity

photo by Gabrielle Kossuth

photo by Gabrielle Kossuth

Gabrielle Kossuth, Lifestyle Editor

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If a random passerby were asked to describe me, “makeup-obsessed” is probably not the first phrase that would come to mind. More often than not, I can be found with little to no cosmetic products on my face.

This is not due to a lack of caring about my appearance, but rather an unexplainable struggle to get out of the door on time in the morning. Regardless, I consider myself to be absolutely enraptured by the world of beauty products. The top of my dresser has been transformed into a creative workspace, with drawers upon drawers of meticulously-organized makeup at hand whenever inspiration strikes to craft a new look.

And yet, when I am asked to detail my hobbies, I often hesitate to include beauty on the list. For outside of today’s sphere of cosmetic connoisseurs, makeup is depicted as the weapon of the vain, the shallow, the ditzy… and most of all, an accessory to those who refuse to deviate from the gender norms society has laid out for females. In a world where women are judged based on appearance, those who feel themselves responsible for such deliberation may believe that such an elaborate ritual is carried out for their benefit and those surrounding the woman in question.

It is the best kind of selfish, being able to fire up the lights of my vanity mirror and proceed to lose myself in a world of my own creation.”

In actuality, such thinking cannot be farther from the truth. I put on makeup for myself and myself alone. Makeup has allowed for a fourteen-year-old harboring toxic thoughts of self-loathing to transform into a seventeen-year-old learned in the ways of self-respect and more confident than ever. It is the best kind of selfish, being able to fire up the lights of my vanity mirror and proceed to lose myself in a world of my own creation.

This is the reality that today’s generation of makeup-lovers takes part in. Perhaps it is the advent of beauty influencers in the digital age, combining their passion for makeup with genuine personality across platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, that can be held responsible for increasing focus on the “me” in cosmetics. Sensations such as Michelle Phan, Zoella and Jaclyn Hill have transcended far beyond their multi-million follower count and into the beauty industry themselves, all thanks to the rapport they have built by baring their souls (and occasionally their faces) online.

However, there are others who have made the jump from internet to industry not through personal relationships with their followers, but rather controversy upon controversy. Media giants such as Kylie Jenner and Jeffree Star thus reside in infamy, with even the most devoted of their fans liable to be turned upon at a (Twitter) moment’s notice.

This is why I believe it is those influenced by beauty rather than beauty influencers themselves who are responsible for the application of makeup being regarded as an act of self-love. We are equipped with the knowledge that the only person who is able to fully change how you feel about yourself is, in fact, you. RuPaul Charles said it best: “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”

Although there are many others whose makeup skills far exceed my own, simply picking up a makeup brush is enough for me to feel as though I am holding a magic wand in my hand. But unlike a magician, I am not preparing to perform a grandiose public spectacle. Rather, I and so many other beautiful people in this beauty-filled generation will wave this wand for nothing other than the benefit of ourselves and ourselves alone.  

About the Writer
Gabrielle Kossuth, Lifestyle Editor

Gabrielle Kossuth is a senior at NASH and has attended North Allegheny since Kindergarten. As The Uproar’s Lifestyle Editor, she focuses on profiling all things up and coming around the area, as well as spotlighting trends and tips for our readers. Outside of newspaper, Gabrielle participates in a plethora of school activities, including Amnesty International, Key Club, Interact Club, Junior Classical League, Class Council, and Cross Country. In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys pursuing her love of reading, writing, and Netflix. She will be attending the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and plans to major in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative Political, Economic, and Social Systems.

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