A movement toward body-positive messaging in fashion and beauty has dominated headlines in recent weeks, from the anti-thigh gap "Citilegs" campaign to Lauren Conrad's promise to ban body-shaming words from her popular lifestyle website.
And since Beyoncé released the hit track "Flawless" in 2013, women around the globe have channeled her lyrics — "I woke up like this" — as an anthem for bare-faced beauty.
But others have taken a different stance. Though they're not entirely at odds with the body-positive movement, they're posing a new question: Just because the pressure for women to dress up to meet society's expectations is waning, does that really mean they should choose to dress down instead?
In a video that's garnered nearly 10 million views in just a month, YouTuber NikkieTutorials explains why she isn't afraid to love makeup — and how it can actually be a tool of power and freedom for women.
“I’ve been noticing a lot lately that girls have been almost ashamed to say they love makeup,” she says in the video. "Because nowadays, when you say you love makeup, you either do it because you want to look good for boys, you do it because you’re insecure, or you do it because you don’t love yourself.”
Nikkie goes on to apply a "full-on glam" makeup look to one half of her face, keeping the other half completely unenhanced and, as she puts it, "raw." She walks viewers through the entire application process until she's finally dolled up in a truly shocking half-and-half look.
"I feel like in a way lately it’s almost a crime to love doing your make-up...I just want people to know that makeup is fine," she concludes. "If you want to go for a red lip and crazy bold eyes, do it."
Her now-viral video has inspired an eponymous hashtag (#ThePowerOfMakeup) and an international movement. Women of all ages have been sharing their own "half-makeup" selfies.
Their goal? To make sure that women feel comfortable with their choices, whatever those choices may be, and to show that a true feminist spirit requires that all women (both bare-faced and glammed-up) be seen as beautiful, each in their own way.