Does Makeup Have a Place in Athletic Competition?

by July 9, 2012
filed under Activism, Life
Topics ,

CoverGirl has taken advantage of a unique opportunity by sponsoring Mary Spencer, 5-time Pan American Games gold medalist in female boxing. She’s the first athlete to be featured as a cover-model, and in my opinion, this was a smart move on CoverGirl’s part. Mary’s involvement sparks a controversy about whether or not female athletes need makeup while they’re competing. The truth is that they don’t. I know it and you know it. But there’s a stereotype that because women who compete in sports are strong, then they must be butch or lesbian – so female athletes try to combat this by wearing makeup to appear more feminine and therefore straight.

Mary goes against this stereotype, though. She’s not going to start wearing makeup to the gym or while she’s competing. It just doesn’t make sense. I agree with her; I’ve been to the gym with makeup on and it doesn’t work. You sweat off any cover-up that you put on before getting there. I’m pleased with Mary’s partnership with CoverGirl because I consider her to be an excellent role model. Mary’s use, or disuse of makeup while she’s training and competing shows women that they don’t need makeup to be strong – either physically or mentally – because strength is in both the mind and the body. You can find strength in yourself by discovering your natural beauty and confidence. Her partnership with CoverGirl allows her to share this message with millions of women.

It might sound like I’m totally against wearing makeup and that I think women should just stop using it, but it’s actually the opposite. I’m an advocate of makeup and I have more than a few CoverGirl products in my bag. I do think it’s important for women, young and old, to be happy with who they are and know that they’re beautiful, inside and out – but I also think that it’s okay to wear makeup, not to hide your appearance, but to enhance it. Sometimes an evenly-toned face or lined eyes give you that extra little boost of confidence you need. I’m not saying you or I need makeup to feel confident, and I certainly don’t believe makeup has a place in the gym or the boxing ring. These are places to develop your body, mind and soul, not places to bat your voluptuous eyelashes.

CoverGirl’s products are for “women of all ages who want a clean, fresh and natural beauty look, but who don’t want to spend a lot of time and money achieving it.” The phrase I want to emphasize in Procter & Gamble’s description of the brand is, “natural beauty.” It’s all about highlighting what you’ve already got, whether it’s your sparkling eyes or sparkling personality. I would say makeup is an accessory, like a bracelet or earrings that you put on in the morning to enhance your features, rather than to cover up or hide what’s there.

Mary understands there’s a place for makeup in her life, but that it’s not in the boxing ring. In the ring, she’s able to showcase her strength and confidence as a competitor and as a woman, and I think that’s an important lesson to learn. Show off who you are, not what’s on your skin. When you can be comfortable and confident with whom you are as a person, that’s when you will truly be strong. I look forward to watching Mary kick ass in the ring without makeup in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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