Today's debate on Makeup and Self Esteem over at the New York Times got me thinking. Funny enough, the author of the book profiled in our Books post today was a chosen respondent.
Personally, I think everyone had a valid response, a lineup of Lawyers, Makeup Artists, Writers and Bloggers lent their thoughts. What seemed to come out of the whole discussion, comments included, is a person's right to choose. Applying makeup isn't a must-do for everyone; it's enjoyed by some, and not by others, and mostly it's an option and a freedom.
Debates like this bring out other topics. Some commenters seemed to think the topic was a waste of space, and unimportant, but the thing is, humans have been decorating themselves for thousands of years, for reasons more than just 'fun' or self-esteem; for environmental concerns, for rigid social rules, for tribal ceremonies, and for tradition. To put forth that it's only cosmetic and not that important is missing the point. Makeup and decoration have been around for ages, and the idea that beauty is now only a sole part of fashion, and not more is shortsighted. Debates like this open a conversation about what we do to our bodies, what we've done in the past, and the luxury (is it luxury?) of having the freedom to decide.