No, my lipstick and lashes don’t mean that I’m lying

Photo Credit: Bhabna Banerjee, Creative Director

I’m sure at some point you’ve heard the loving recommendation to “take her swimming on the first date.” And honestly, the funniest thing I find about that meme is how some people think a full face of makeup will come off with just water. With all the product, primer, and setting spray I got on, nothing is coming off without some industrial grade cleaner. 

But let’s get one thing straight — wearing foundation and fake lashes is not the same thing as pretending to be someone you’re not. 

Catfishing occurs when someone creates a fake identity, or assumes the identity of a different person, to trick and deceive people online. So why does makeup always get equated to catfishing? How does wearing something that makes me more confident in myself somehow fabricate who I really am? Canadian cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet it still seemingly isn’t taken as seriously in the field of fashion as it should be. 

Putting on and choosing our makeup is no different than how we choose our clothes or style our hair. We wear things that represent who we are, represent our style, represent our culture and our identity. We wear things that fit us, accentuate parts of our bodies we love to show, and maybe helps us conceal parts of ourselves we aren’t fully confident in. 

Whether you like it or not, makeup has the same purposes. I wear full black-winged eyeliner almost everyday because it fits my style, and I love the emphasis it places on my eyes. But most importantly, I wear it because I like it. 

So why are clothes and makeup still viewed differently? Why does our makeup deem us as catfishing? There’s this weird phenomenon with unveiling women as “tricksters” or “deceitful,” and makeup is another way to do it. 

Not that anyone needs these features to be beautiful, (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, folks), but these are just a few of the many beauty standards we are told we need to achieve every day. 

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I am well aware my makeup choices don’t make me look “natural.” And if you think women have naturally glossy coloured lips, winged-out black-lined eyes, and mile long eyelashes, you may need to reevaluate what you think humans look like. 

We’re not trying to deceive anyone, we’re just wearing what we like! Makeup isn’t used to make us a different person, it makes us more confident in the person we already are. 

Not all women have naturally full eyebrows, clear skin with no acne or pores, or noticeably long, full lashes. Not that anyone needs these features to be beautiful, (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, folks), but these are just a few of the many beauty standards we are told we need to achieve every day. 

Just how some people take supplements to build muscle mass because it is believed that is what they should have, we too become enthralled in the social normalities of what beauty “should be.” But neither of those things makes anyone a liar. 

So, I ask you, why not just let women (or whoever wishes) wear what they want? If our clothing choices hide who we “naturally” are and our hair is styled in a meticulous way, why can’t our makeup do the same? We are just accentuating our style and expressing ourselves, not covering up in an attempt to be deceitful. 

If you’re still confused, just ask us — respectfully, mind you. Ask women who love to wear makeup why they do, and then let them express themselves! It’s our style, it’s our desire, and most importantly, it’s our choice. The way I see it, you get to wear whatever you want because you like how you look in it, and so do we. To be clear, no, that doesn’t make women catfishes. 

And if you don’t like the way someone looks, then just swipe left and take someone else swimming. No big deal.

About the Author

By Sarah Garofalo


Sarah is in her fourth year of Film Studies at York University. She is passionate about using writing as a tool to educate herself and introduce others to hidden stories and new ideas. In the future, she hopes to continue her studies in film and merge it with her love of writing and journalism. You can always find Sarah sketching, painting or endlessly watching films while waiting to get back into movie theatres.


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