My Thoughts on Body Makeup

July 07, 2019



Last month, Kim Kardashian announced a line of body makeup, and Twitter descended into madness. I’ve spent some time collecting my thoughts, and after watching Melanie Murphy’s video about the topic, I’ve decided to share my views to anyone who cares.


When I first saw the advert, I admit that I rolled my eyes. Here comes Kim Kardashian, renowned for being fake in her beauty, showing off yet another product for women to altar their appearance to look more like her. When I saw Jameela Jamil’s tweet rejecting the product, I agreed with her.

Katie Piper, scarring, 2018, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6042845/Katie-Piper-praised-fans-no-make-selfie.html



After thinking some more about it, I realise that my original reaction was misguided.

I am very lucky in terms of my skin. The highest number of spots I’ve ever had on my face at one time is three. I’ve never experienced acne, or vitiligo, or had severe scarring or birthmarks on my face. Regardless, from the ages of 13-16, I wore foundation and concealer often, and I still wear it for shows and special occasions today. Currently, I see no need to wear face makeup daily, because I am content with the way my skin looks. The only thing I particularly notice to be frustrated with on my face are my under-eye bags.


On my body, I again don’t have acne, vitiligo, varicose veins, severe bruising, dramatic scarring, obvious birthmarks… The only thing that particularly bothers me about the skin on my body is some stretch marks, but for the most part, I can easily forget about them. Again, I’m lucky, and the skin on my face and body is relatively clear and unblemished. Other people don’t feel as lucky as I do.

Talonted Lex, rosacea, 2013, https://talontedlex.co.uk/2013/01/12/stop-it-youre-making-me-blush/


I know people with severe acne on their faces and bodies. It can be painful, and results in red and uneven skin that can make them feel insecure. People are born with birthmarks that invite comments or ridicule from others, and accidents and attacks can happen to cause scarring and/or bruising that can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem. Some people may also self-harm for their own personal reasons, and not be prepared to talk about it just yet. As we age, certain things happen to our skin that we may not like. Veins become more apparent, random moles or redness may pop up wherever they choose, and of course our skin starts to wrinkle. There are also countless skin conditions, such as rosacea, eczema, and vitiligo, that affect people’s appearance and self-confidence.


Some people with acne, rosacea, eczema, vitiligo, scars, birthmarks, stretch marks, self-harm marks, and many more skin blemishes/conditions are perfectly content with their appearance. And others with the exact same blemishes or conditions are not.


Just because I do not feel the need to apply concealer and foundation to my face daily, does not mean that no one else feels that need. And it’s not my job to say that, because I don’t wear foundation and concealer every day, no one else should or can. I have no right to say that anyone else has no right to be insecure about their skin just because I am not. We are all individuals, and we are all confident and insecure about different things, and not one of us is entitled to dictate what we have to be proud of or not.

Winnie Harlow, vitiligo, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/global/gallery/2015/feb/15/chantelle-winnie-in-pictures


I, personally, won’t be buying foundation for my body. Someone else out there may have already bought and used it. Look at us, doing what we want, spending our money on what we want to, using the forms of makeup we choose to. Good for us.


So, after thinking about this, I realise that I, Jameela Jamil, and anyone else who criticised people who produced this product and therefore criticised, shamed, and ignored the people who want to use it, were wrong. People’s insecurities are valid, and no one has the right to make them feel that they aren’t.


And, as Melanie Murphy pointed out in her video, when a man wears makeup, we shower him with praise. He’s gone against gender norms, good for him. When a woman wears makeup, we ask her why she’s insecure, who she’s trying to impress, why she’s pretending to be something she’s not. In truth, any man or woman has the right to wear whatever makeup they choose. Whether it’s foundation, concealer, body makeup, powder, eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick, or whatever else, it’s their decision, and we have no right to judge.

Melanie Murphy, acne and scars, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PljbzaUlA8o


Other types of cosmetics for the body have also existed for years. Fake tan, for example. We’re unhappy with how pale we are, so we choose to darken it. Body butter or lotion is used to eliminate dry patches or ashiness, and leave us with a nice scent. We use perfume and deodorant because we dislike our natural odours. We dye our hair because we prefer a colour we weren’t born with. We wear clothes because we like the patterns, colours, and styles, and because – dun, dun, duuuuuuun – we’re embarrassed by our naked bodies.


I still don’t admire or look up to Kim Kardashian, but I can’t resent her for producing a product that could help others’ self-confidence just because I personally don’t want or need it.


Be sure to check out Melanie’s video on YouTube, and add to the discussion! What are your thoughts on this topic?

Background image from: https://www.allure.com/story/kim-kardashian-kkw-body-foundation-details

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