Essay about Why Do Women Use Cosmetics?

Essay about Why Do Women Use Cosmetics?

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Most women are or know at least one woman who is deathly afraid of being seen or leaving the house without makeup. Many won’t go anywhere, whether to the grocery store, the gym, or even the beach, without first putting on a little bit of mascara or lipstick. The word cosmetic means “skilled in adornment.” Kosmein means “arrange,” or “adorn.” Kosmos means “order:” It also means “to make for beauty, especially of the complexion, or beautifying,” it also means “done or made for the sake of appearance,” or “correcting defects especially of the face.” More than that it is “decorative,” or “ornamental.” (Angeloglou, 1970) For many centuries, cosmetics were made to serve beauty, elaborate it, or promote it. But now it is viewed as an act of covering up, hiding or concealing, so which is it? The first record of makeup use comes from Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian tombs dating as far back as around 3500 BC. Tombs from this era have revealed unguent jars, which in later periods were scented. Unguent was a substance extensively used by men and women to keep their skin hydrated and supple and to avoid wrinkles from the dry heat. They used soot and other natural ingredients to paint their faces, and even had specialized tools to apply their makeup. However, paints and other means of self-decoration date back tens of thousands of years. Archaeological sites in South Africa provide evidence that body paint may have been used over 50,000 years ago, suggesting people painted their bodies before they even wore clothes. Even our closest relatives, the Neanderthals, may have worn makeup and jewelry. In some cultures, the use of cosmetics to enhance one’s appearance was limited only to the upper class. Thirteenth century affluent women wore pink lipst...

... middle of paper ... undesirable effects, which may be serious at times. Every woman, whether she chooses to acknowledge it or not, has an innate desire to be desired. Even the staunchest of feminists want to be accepted by other feminists. It goes without saying that we, as human beings, don’t enjoy being disliked and we go to any measure to make ourselves more readily acceptable to others. For women, one of the easiest ways to improve confidence and self-image is makeup. It has been a long time since the ancient Egyptians used poisons to make themselves look pretty, and it can definitely be said that we’ve come a long way. Makeup now endures rigorous testing before it finds its way onto department store shelves and makeup brushes across the country. No matter how shallow the act of making one’s self up may be, the truth remains that as human beings, we always strive to be accepted.

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