I am not a product

IS MAKEUP false advertising - i am not a product

I am not a product.

I’m not four limbs and a torso of stiff, ABS plastic, and a head of soft PVC.

I am not secured by four ties to three walls of cardboard with an acetate window to look out on coldly lit aisles

I am not stood on a shelf surrounded by my sisters and my brothers and my non binary siblings, waiting to be picked up by the hands of those who want me

I am not someone or something you provide a voice for, put in made-up scenarios, and put back when you’re done

I am not brainless or mindless

I am not tricking you with changing what is on my face from day to day, or from the clothes I wear

I am not a false advertisement because

I am not a product.

I am not a product - makeup and outfit choices are not false advertising

I am not a product. I am not a commodity because I flick my eyeliner and change the colour of my lips, or dress a certain way. It is how I express myself visually, an extension of my likes. Once that comes away I’m still the same person, I still think the same thoughts and laugh at the same bad jokes and dream the same dreams, because I am more than that day’s choice of outfit, that lip colour, that trend I tried. 

I am not a product because I enjoy following sometimes, and forging my own path at others. Humans are wonderfully multifaceted, and we’re on this massive curve where it is sometimes necessary to contradict yourself in order to learn. We are not one thing, but many. 

I am not a product because I do not define myself by what I have put on that day. It is not a trick or a ruse or a mask or disguise to hide behind. It is not an advertisement to or for anyone. It is not a false truth because this is who I am right now.

There is too much talk these days of makeup being a tool to ‘falsely advertise’ people. Memes like ‘take her to the pool on the first date’ or ‘why I have trust issues’ perpetuate a culture of mistrust of those who dabble in makeup or pursue it professionally. This is not some black magic voodoo that is used to ‘catch people out’ or trick you, it is a form of self expression; perhaps a confidence booster to some, or just a bit of fun for others. 

Critique on the culture of painting our faces has created such a paradox. Paint and you incite ideas of fakery, trickery, excess, that too-much brand of intimidation; going bare-faced leaves people to wonder – or ask – if you’re feeling ok, are you sick, work must be hard huh, something’s happened and it’s usually negative. For the males and non binaries, the lists are expanded into makeup being an inherently feminine practice, or misidentifying. It’s a balancing act where the weights seem stacked, and the ideal or optimum is ‘natural’ for those who comment negatively. 

But have you any idea how many products go into a natural face? 

Sometimes I joke that if people honestly think I was born with winged eyeliner and lips that cycle through red to black then it says more about them than it does about me, but it does start the cogs whirring because why is there such a stigma around what people decide to put on their faces? Why does that extend into what people wear, when style and taste and trends are so transient, in the grand scheme of things?

I think all of us, secretly, are a little guilty of defining people by what is or what is not present on their faces, their clothing choices, the way they choose to express themselves. I know I have in the past, and the realisation that it’s a natural thing that we do in society – because society hands us a pair of judgy pants the minute we can form opinions – has me actively trying to condition myself to stop. If someone has made a choice that is good for them, their confidence, and is not hurting anyone else then why should they be met with criticism? People shouldn’t be shamed into conforming to an ideal that they do not share. 

None of us are products. None of us are advertising anything ‘falsely’ because sometimes we contour, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we plan out outfits and sometimes we just throw things on and hope for the best. 

None of us are products because we are all thinking, living, breathing people, with unique thoughts and expressions and most people do not falsely advertise themselves. 

{this post is collaborative post with Brooke Elise, as we both felt kind of strongly on the topic; so I’d definitely suggest going to read why she isn’t a product either}

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  1. Anne Krarup
    February 20, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    This is so good I have no words!! I've always felt a little uncomfortable with the phrase, and you explain why so well!!x- Anne | annesmiles

  2. taislany
    February 20, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Such great post! Love the outfit as well xHope you’re having an amazing Saturday! Kisses,BLOG | TAISLANY

  3. Meg Siobhan
    February 20, 2016 / 11:34 pm

    Yes yes yes yes yes to all of this! The furthest I'll go with make-up is maybe lippy once in a blue moon. But the fact that people are silly enough to think women are 'false advertising'? Jog on folks if you are that stupid. It's a form of expression which I wish I could master! And I couldn't agree more with you – we all express ourselves in our own ways, and if people think colourful eyelids and lips are 'natural' and that they're somehow being tricked? Then they're thick as two short planks and also not worth your time.Meg | A Little Twist Of…

  4. Carina Chung
    February 21, 2016 / 1:58 am

    YES GIRL. YES.YESSSSSSSSSSSS. Cannot agree more. I don't understand how people associate one with being a product or the concept of "false advertising" just because somedays they prefer one thing and other days another. Or they're fake, just because they use make up. just. no. We should be allowed to do what we want, wear as much make up, or not at all, and NOT be judged for either.<3 Carina

  5. Street style city
    February 21, 2016 / 9:44 am

    Great text!! My blog: Street Style CityAlso have a look at my photography page: Photography

  6. The Forest Mermaid
    February 21, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    This is brilliant, I love how you've approached this subject. I rarely wear makeup, and I've definitely had negative reactions to that, especially at work, and especially from men. It also seems to really confuse people that other days I'll do a full face of makeup with colourful eyes and lips, and that I'm actually fairly good at doing makeup. It just depends on how I feel, and what I want to express that day.Also, my (male) partner wears makeup more often than I do, and has had a lot of abuse for it in the past, so thanks for including the bit about men and non-binary people!

    • Fii Cridland
      February 21, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Thank you aah for your really kind words. And no problem! I feel that this thought of expressing an interest in makeup or fashion being an inherently female practice is really quite dated, and as we grow and learn as a society it's important to be inclusive <3xo

  7. Lizzie ♥
    February 21, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    This post is on point!It annoys me when people say, "Oh you look so different with makeup on!" like come on do you really think I'll spend ££££s just to look the same? People need to grow up :PLizzie Bee // mysticthorn.com

  8. Francesca
    February 21, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    This is probably one of the best posts I have read since I started blogging Fi! As we both know, I'm pretty opinionated and I too am guilty of judging people on the type or amount of makeup that they wear and it's completely wrong. Blogging has actually helped me to become a lot less judgemental because at the end of the day, what people choose to put on their face or what they don't is absolutely none of my business and it is their choice to make. Just as it is my choice as to how I wear my own makeup. The message of your post is definitely one that needs spreading more 🙂 xxxwww.francescajayne.com

  9. Martha Edwards
    February 22, 2016 / 12:09 am

    I have no words for how epic this post is. I HATE those swimming pool memes etc etc. and I definitely feel that the shock which is often expressed on seeing a woman without makeup for the first time reveals a lot about how certain representations of women are normalised. I'm reluctant to be seen without makeup, and I suppose that means I'm perpetuating this idea. But I'm blonde and my eyebrows and lashes are genuinely invisible unless I colour them in using pencils and mascaras, and I don't know whether that's a problem or not. I definitely don't see it as 'false advertisement' and think that's a bullshit ideology to have, but I do feel sad that I feel unable to wear my natural face sometimes, or even that I prefer my face with makeup on. Food for thought! xMartha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

  10. Alyssa G
    February 22, 2016 / 2:57 am

    Thank you for this post, this is definitely something I needed to hear :)xx Alyssavisionsofnyc.blogspot.com

  11. Heather Chambers
    February 22, 2016 / 8:08 am

    This is such an amazing post, with such powerful words! You are so right, none of us are products so why must society treat us this way. I can also admit that o have been guilty of doing this in the past, but as I get older and I continue to learn and grow, I do it a lot less, I pre judge a lot less and I accept and celebrate all the different forms of expression we have in life including make up, fashion etc. This was such a great post Fii! :)Heather Xx100waysto30.co.uk

  12. Jemma Morgan
    March 5, 2016 / 6:16 am

    Quite simply… I love you <3

  13. Emmajane.
    April 10, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Such a cute outfit! Love the content of this post too, super important to have a positive view of ourselves! XKylie Jenner style inspo over on -hailandharmony.blogspot.ie// BLOGLOVIN

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