We live in a world where natural beauty is not celebrated enough. Thanks to social media, from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we go to sleep at night, we are bombarded with impossible to obtain beauty ideals and the majority are created artificially.
In celebration of International Women’s Day last week, one of the world’s biggest singers, Demi Lovato, took off her makeup to celebrate natural beauty. However, while she might have been well-intentioned, the clip, which was filmed by Vogue, has been slammed on social media.
Watch the video in its entirety below:
The 25-year-old told US Vogue:
“I think society tells us we need makeovers, but why can’t we embrace the beauty that we naturally have?
I love makeup. I love doing my hair. I have extensions. But there’s a time and a place for everything, and natural beauty needs to be celebrated.”
Wearing a full face of makeup is a beauty standard for the majority of women. Not only is it an expensive standard to keep up with, but when women wear makeup and still feel unhappy with their appearances, it can affect them psychologically.
The rise of the body positivity movement, however, has had the positive effect of encouraging many women to wear less makeup and inspired some to ditch their slap entirely. Last year, Psychology Today even reported that an increased number of women are now going makeup free.
At the end of the day, women should do what makes them feel most comfortable in their appearances, and one of the reasons why Lovato decided to take part in Vogue‘s campaign was that she has battled her demons in this department, having previously opened up about her eating disorder.
While Lovato is now physically in a much healthier place than she used to be, as evidenced by these before and after pictures which she posted on Instagram, the singer admitted that her struggle with bulimia is still very much a part of her life in October last year.
“Food is still the biggest challenge in my life and it controls… I don’t want to give it the power to say it controls my every thought, but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about,” she said, CNN reported.
Those who have battled with eating disorders often suffer from at least one relapse and that was the case for Lovato, who admitted that it happened to her after she broke up with her boyfriend of six years Wilmer Valderrama in 2016.
Sadly, an eating disorder is not the only battle which the singer has dealt with. She’s also suffered from alcohol addiction too.
In speaking candidly about these issues, there is no doubt that the 25-year-old has helped many of her fans who have suffered from similar problems. However, her decision to go makeup free was not met with the warm response she likely expected it to receive.
While some people did acknowledge the singer’s good intentions, like Facebook user Kyle S. Hoak, others believed that because of Lovato’s blemish-free face, she was not a good person to look up to when it came to embracing natural beauty.
One of Lovato’s critics, Mia Henderson, claimed that the Vogue video made her “feel even more isolated” before listing some examples of women who would have made her feel better about herself if they’d decided to take off their makeup on camera instead of Lovato.
Some people were unaffected by the clip but claimed that it didn’t prove anything about natural beauty.
The potentially harmful effects of attractive women going without makeup for this reason have been widely reported in the media, with Business Insider writing that their flawless faces “offer potentially harmful examples as to what natural beauty should look like”.
When musician Alicia Keys went without makeup, she received similar criticism, with one commenter writing that it was neither “brave nor empowering when ur dead gorgeous (sic)”.
While stars like Lovato might be well-intentioned when they go without makeup, perhaps undue attention shouldn’t be given to their decision to do so. Instead, it would arguably be more helpful for those who look imperfect without makeup to be praised for embracing what nature gave them.