With all this attention being paid to the fact that we are currently re-living the naughty-nineties in terms of fashion trends and styles, it can only be said that make-up trends also have a life of constant cyclic readjustments that date back to the very beginning of fashion. Natural is best, smokey eyes are all the rage, the flick! It is a constant battle between what is popular and what look it is the consumer is after. But in all of these alterations that women – and people in general are m aking to their face, are we denying true beauty the honor of being beauty?
It has been said over and over again that it is the face that holds the truest virtue in beauty; it has the ability to determine person from person and to assume thought and feeling in movement alone. It has also for many, many years been the topic for discussion in relative subjects of art theory in beauty and the rejection it has faced within art. If fashion really is a form of art (as we have seen demonstrated time and time again within contemporary fashion), than should the topic of cosmetics and the ability it holds in modifying the face and mimicking the truest of beauty hold more of a place within present-day fashion and art discussion? And more importantly, is it dishonest to portray beauty in something that is truly ordinary?
It is as if society no longer recognizes beauty and the allurement of the face as something of importance, but it still holds such a reign over every aspect of our lives – it is beauty that dictates (as well as personality) who we associate ourselves with and how we present ourselves in society. As bigoted and dogmatic as it may seem, we are constantly making judgments based on our interpretations of beauty; the ability that make-up holds in transforming ones face is truly precarious.
Steiner W, Venus In Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in 20-Century Art, 2001
Benjamin W, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936 (2008 edition), pg. 14