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Beauty and Feminism

I mentioned how much I love Sali Hughes' attitude towards beauty and feminism in my post about reading Pretty Honest, and today I'm going to devote an entire post to it.

Sali wrote a piece in November's Glamour called 'Brains. Equality. Lipstick.' and I pretty much agree with everything she says: the idea that if you're interested in beauty then you can't be a feminist is ridiculous.

Femininity Is Not Anti-Feminist

What irritates me most is that it suggests a love of beauty dumbs you down.  How on earth does the fact that I like to buy make up, wear make up, and blog about make up have any bearing on my intelligence? Shockingly enough, it is possible for a person to have a range of interests, and if one of those things is beauty then so what?  

I am also irritated beyond belief by people who think that an interest in beauty means you aren't feminist enough. Really, what this idea suggests is that being feminine is something to be ashamed of; that kind of sexism is one of the many reasons we need feminism in the first place. I was under the impression that being a feminist means you believe in the social, political and economical equality of the sexes; why should my addiction to burgandy nail polishes exclude me from this movement? 

I think there are far more important things to be worrying about (Equal pay? Reproductive rights? Teaching young people about consent, instead of blaming the victim?) than whether a woman chooses to wear mascara or not. Some days I wear it and some days I don't, and it's nobody's business but mine, unless I decide to blog about it. That I'm able to choose what I want to put on my face is a victory in itself.

If you want to be bare-faced, then be bare-faced. If you want to wear red lipstick, then wear it. You want to pile on the eyeliner one day and then rock a statement lip the next? Go for it. Feminism is about having the choice.

Have you ever experienced any negativity about your love of make up? What are your thoughts about beauty and feminism? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at

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