Are you using makeup to create a smaller nose? One writer argues that this trick is our way of conforming to European beauty standards.
Arched brows, defined lashes, bold lipstick, and a killer contour: these are a few key ingredients to a face that is absolutely beat, honey. Out of all of the above, contouring seems like it is becoming more and more popular amongst makeup lovers. Contouring, for those who may not be familiar with it, is applying a darker shade of makeup on certain areas of your face to make them recede or look smaller.
We contour our cheekbones to make them appear higher and our jawlines to make our faces appear slimmer. We contour our foreheads to give our face more dimension and our noses to make them look smaller and more defined.
Smaller and more defined.
Think about that for a moment.
It sounds like the opposite of a nose of an African-American woman. Typically, our noses are larger and more blunt—and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Thinner noses are typically found on people of European descent.
Let’s be honest. We live in a world where beauty is not only defined by, but also revolves around European standards. Society subconsciously and sometimes overtly asserts the notion that European features are more desirable and African-American features are flat out unattractive. I can’t help but feel like contouring our noses is a subconscious (or for some a conscious) attempt to make our beautifully blunt noses conform to European standards.
Maybe, I’m tripping.
Or, perhaps I’m on to something.
Somewhere along the way black women have started to drink the proverbial “kool-aid”. We’ve allowed a standard that doesn’t even consider us seep into our beauty routines. We’ve begun to believe the lie that “our” noses are bad and “theirs” are better. Why else would we contour them? I know that is a strong statement to make, but it is what it is.
So, what’s my point? Am I attacking black women who contour their noses? No. Not at all. I’m just trying to get ya’ll to see things for what they really are. Some of us have unconsciously (and some of us consciously) have been trying to conform to the European standard even if only in a small way like contouring our noses. We’re attempting to conform to a standard oftentimes without even knowing it.
It’s time to reject the lies we’ve been conditioned to believe about beauty, more specifically, about our noses and put things into proper perspective. It is time to believe the truth about the beauty of black women.
So ladies, by all means, beat that face and snatch those brows. Just don’t touch that beautiful, blunt nose.
What's your take on contouring? Do you do it? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
Briana McCarthy is a writer, blogger and editor of The Mane Source. When she's not blogging about hair and beauty, she's enjoying her Chicago hometown with her hubby and two children. Chat her up on Facebook and Instagram.