I was in Sephora over the weekend checking out what’s new. I like to go in every so often to see what interesting brands have launched or just to get a new look. I even bring along my daughter and we try out different perfumes or eye shadows together. No question about it, Sephora is fun. So much creativity to be had. So much sensory delight to absorb. But it’s not a relaxing sort of fun. In fact it’s quite an intense experience. The electricity is palpable. At any given second, women (and some men) are applying, undoing and reapplying colors with a ton of focus and energy.
Contrary to many opinions out there, make-up isn’t frivolous. No way. It’s pretty serious stuff. It’s a way to express yourself, and that’s critical for self-esteem and personal development. But, even more importantly, make-up can be transformative. And the ability to transform is fundamental to being an American. We should all have the ability to be whoever we want. That’s what our forefathers and foremothers fought for centuries ago, and what all immigrants expect when they step into this country. Of course we can’t necessarily change our personality, financial status or career overnight. But with a bit of time, effort and cash we can change our appearance. In the end, make-up isn’t just fun, creative or even gratifying. It’s empowering. And no one can call power frivolous.