What It's Like For Girls Living In The Kardashian Beauty Era

I'm not a beauty blogger. Or well, I don't feel like one. I'd never refer to myself as a Guru, and even the term "makeup artist" prefixed with "self taught" makes me feel like a fraud. The why to this is really simple. I'm pale, I'm overweight, my lips and eyes are small, my eyebrows are not instagram worthy.

It finally dawned on me why I've been avoiding beauty related social media recently. I don't at all meet the new standards of beauty. I like to call this the "Kyle Jenner Standard". Your lashes should be full and fluttery, lips should be big and pouty, eyebrows should be painted on to perfection, and skin should be that perfect shade of racially ambiguos.

 The fact I'll probbaly never achieve this level of beauty sort of makes me uneasy. Kylie Jenner is 17 years old and literal perfection, ignoring the recent comments people have made about her "appropriating".

At 17 I barely leave the house unless I'm required to (work and family time/errands), spend 60% of my time doing school work, and practically live in nerdy tee shirts and sweatpants. When I was younger, all I really cared about (all most girls my age cared about), was having clear skin, being under a size 12, and being allowed to wear makeup to cover my freckles. So much has changed. The outlandish "Todlers and Tiaras" makeup obsessed little girls are suddenly really acting like that. I spoke to a couple makeup artists and a couple girls/young women about what they thought of the current beauty standard and this is what they had to say. (Warning, this is going to be a long but interesting post, it's worth the read.)

How do you feel about makeup? 

"I love makeup personally. I've never felt pressured my social media to wear it, although in 7th grade I felt the pressure from peers to be "prettier" so that's when I started to learn how to wear makeup properly. " - Megan, 16
"I love makeup. I don't wear it everyday or spend a whole lot of time or money on it, but I think in general it's pretty great." - Amy, 18
"Well, I don't wear makeup very often. Mostly because it's a pain to take off and I'm lazy. However, I do think makeup is great! At times I think it's good to have a break from it to keep yourselves from becoming dependent on it to feel beautiful. Other than that I think it's a great way to accent the beauty that is already there without makeup." - Desiray, 20

Have you ever tried to over draw your lips? 

"No, even though I have next to no upper lip. It would look too obvious and strange if I tried to fake it." - Kelsey, 23

"Yes I do currently overdraw my lips." - Megan

Have you ever worn fake eyelashes?

"I've worn fake eyelashes for dance competitions and performances and then occasions like prom and homecoming, but that's it." - Megan

"Yes. Again with love hate. I like the way they make my eyes pop but overall I wouldn't use them daily. To me it's not worth it especially when you can bold your lashes with some vaseline and mascara. " - Heidi, 24

"Nope." - Amy

Have you ever tried to contour?

"Once, I think." - Amy

"I tried to contour like once. It looked really unnatural and just wasn't for me. I will occasionally highlight my face in some areas, but when it comes to contouring I'm lost." - Hope, 18

"I do currently contour my face as part of my everyday face. " - Megan

Have you ever wanted plastic surgery?

"I am getting plastic surgery but for personal reasons not for face like Botox or permanent makeup." - Alexis, 17

"Yes, my nose is one thing I've always been self conscious about especially when it's the small nose that is considered  most attractive" - Heidi

How do you feel when you can’t follow a particular beauty trend (overdrawing/contouring/filled in eyebrows)?

"Well, I don't feel like I can't follow them. I probably could if I practiced and such, but I choose not to do those things. I could if i wanted to, I just don't want to. " - Amy

"Trying to keep up with trends or following them has honestly never appealed to me because then you’d be the same as everyone else. Trends are awesome when it's something funky and different but it's not for everyone but everyone wants to be like everyone so it takes the fun out of the look. To be honest not every trend applies to everyone. If you find something that doesn't quite fit you or your tastes I don't think you should follow it just because everyone else does. Or you can adjust it and make it your own. " - Heidi

"I guess it makes me feel bad when I can't follow a certain trend, but it's more frustration than anything at the fact that I wasn't able to figure something out. I have a basic mastery over makeup, and I don't feel like I absolutely need to follow the next trend. I like how I do things now enough that I don't dwell on it when I can't produce a certain look." - Hope

"A trend’s a trend; it will die down eventually. Not ever trend is suited for everyone." - Kelsey

Have you ever been made fun of (seriously) because you didn’t wear makeup/makeup was too natural?

"I wasn’t so much made fun of, but I did often hear “You’d look a lot better if you wore_____”." - Kelsey

"I've never been made fun of for a lack of makeup but I do feel insecure without it." - Megan

"No. I almost always wear makeup, and when I don't, no one seems to care. Actually what I see most in terms of makeup criticism, is girls being picked on for wearing too much makeup, or not doing something correctly (using the wrong color foundation, way overdrawn eyeliner, too strong eye shadow, etc.)." - Hope

"Yes. As I said before in highschool I opted out of make up entirely and just wore whatever, but when I was made fun of wasn't in high school. It was actually in elementary school in 6th grade. I had no need for makeup or girly things but a group of girls actually bullied me because I was into superheros and video games rather than tabloid magazines that dictated what make up /women/ should wear. "
Do you think the Kardashian/Jenner family should be beauty icons? Why or why not?
"I really don't like their look honestly. It's very dramatic and hardly any of what they look like now is their real appearance. And for another not a single picture I've seen do they have a genuine smiles and I don't watch the show so I don't know honestly." -Heidi

How has Social Media/Kardashian/Jenner beauty standards affected you? In a negative or positive way? Explain. 

" Although the they do makeup/dress really well within a certain kind of aesthetic, I don't particularity think they should be icons for anything. That lifestyle is so toxic. We should be celebrating people who do good in the world, not the drama in the lives of celebrities. I find the whole obsession shallow. " - Hope

"No, simply because their beauty is artificial. We look at celebrities as these perfect beings when in reality their looks are usually an illusion thanks to Photoshop, surgery and makeup. " - Kelsey

"Honestly their fame has affected my beauty routine. Once Kylie entered the limelight my makeup routine changed completely. I find myself basically trying to imitate her face, so I would call it a negative effect." - Megan

"It hasn’t. I wish I had a better reason. I worked hard to be happy with myself without makeup, and to view makeup as an addition and not a replacement. I can imagine that without their looks, the Kardashians would be very empty people. Social Media doesn’t define you; if you love the way you look without it- great! If you like to wear heavier makeup- great too!" - Kelsey

Has social media ever made you feel like you HAD to wear makeup?

"It certainly has made make up more appealing because you see these beautiful darlings with fantastic eyeliner and perfect pouty lips. Even for geeks we secretly want to look like our sexy heroines with red lips and thick lashes so, indeed. In any social media genre make up and having a certain look is played to its receiving masses that this is what a girl or woman should look like and it's a pressure for all social mediums." - Heidi
" I've never really felt like I /had/ to wear makeup, because I know plenty of girls who don't. Social media does push/ inspire me to up my makeup game, and maybe makes me feel bad about how I look overall, but when it comes to makeup it's more of an inspiration than making me feel as though I absolutely MUST wear makeup. I do really like the trend where celebrities/ really good makeup people post no makeup pictures of themselves because it reminds me that the look isn't natural,, and also reminds me of how wonderful people can be at makeup (again, inspiration)." - Hope
"Not really. I'm 24 now, and in high school I definitely went through the phase of feeling like there was alot of pressure or obligation to wear it, but I don't feel that came from social media for me." - Anonymous


Honestly, talking to all these women seriously opened my eyes. Some felt incredibly strongly about makeup, beauty, and the Kardashians. While others simply were too busy living their lives. Both Heidi and Kelsey work as makeup artists (Heidi in beauty, Kelsey in SFX). They both seemed to have a much clearer head particularly regarding trends. The youngest of the group, Megan, seemed the most effected by the change in standards. What do you think? Are the Kardashian/Jenners doing more bad than good? Should girls be trying to emulate what surgery and genetics created rather than learning how to enhance their own features?