Seven days ago, I began my anti-makeup experiment in which I gave up wearing makeup for an entire week in an attempt to observe how much appearance affects the way people treat me. To my disappointment, I did not notice any drastic negative reactions to my not getting as “dolled up” as usual. The most drastic reactions I noticed were the changes in my own brain-the way I thought about myself. This experiment has taught me a number of things in which I have neatly outlined in a numbered list:

1. Wearing Makeup Does Not Necessarily Mean That You Are A Conformer: although the media places immense pressure on women in today’s society to look a certain way, using cosmetics to highlight and play-up our features does not mean that we are submitting to societal views on how to be beautiful.

2. It’s All About How YOU Feel: Personally, I feel like crap if I don’t at least have a little mascara on. Something about that stuff makes me feel more awake, alert, and ready for my day. I noticed how much more sluggish and drowsy I felt without it. And trust me, as a full-time college student with a job, I am already a hopeless victim of energy deficit as it is. So I will resume my ritual of minimal eye makeup application.

3. Makeup Helps Reduce Negative Self-Talk: I’m not just saying this in regard to appearance. I am guilty of excessive insults toward myself, in virtually every aspect of my life. So if I can make myself look a way that is visually satisfying to ME, I will. It helps me be a little nicer to myself at least when I look in the mirror.

4. The Only Person You Need To Impress Is You: Seriously. Who cares if your sister thinks you’re wearing too much makeup? If YOU feel pretty, shut her up and keep doing what you’re doing. You are not here to impress the people around you. Screw ’em. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Surround yourself with people who like you for your entire package-including how you present yourself.

The bottom line is, it’s all about what makes you feel your best. Makeup is not bad, and it’s not a sign of insecurity. But it is also important to remember that your appearance does not define you, and that you are more than just something to look at. So don’t let those commercials featuring the beautiful models with the eyelash extensions and airbrushed skin be the standard in which you compare yourself to. Those models spend hours in hair and makeup where professionals perfect every little flaw and blemish, and even that isn’t good enough, because photo editors still spend hours editing what can’t be fixed with cosmetics. Let’s be honest, we everyday women don’t have time for that! We’ve got lives to live. So live life, be happy with the way you are, and don’t give what anyone else thinks a second thought.

That was loads of fun, but I’m excited to wear mascara again.(:

Have a good day, lovelies, and thanks for reading!

Miss Maddie

A Change In Direction

I started Down With The Norm to document my observations during my “Anti-Makeup” experiment, but I have decided to morph this blog into a discussion of the world in which we live, including, but not limited to, my feelings on feminism, patriarchal society, happiness, and the point of living in the first place. Responses and counterarguments are encouraged, as they will force me to reconsider and strengthen my positions, views, and values. Thanks so much to everyone who follows and supports me. Thanks to everyone who has ever had an opinion, as others’ opinions help mold my own.

Stay strong, Monday is almost over.(:

The Experiment

Hey, i’m Maddie, and I have a problem with today’s society. A big one. Society says that a truly beautiful woman is one with no flaws. A beautiful woman is thin, with big boobs, big hair, giant eyes, and wrinkle- and blemish-free, youthful face. Something like this:JLO

Now, clearly we aren’t all blessed with J-Lo’s perfect completion, olive skin-tone, and hourglass figure. Fortunately for the average women, like myself, there are products out there that promise to alter our appearances so that we, too, may be beautiful.


We are literally bombarded with advertisements promising that through the use of their products, we can look like that hot movie star, actress, or model that we idolize in the media.

It’s almost as if the less natural we are, the more beautiful we become. In my Women’s Studies class at Weber State University, we discussed how these advertisements display women’s bodies as a series of flaws in need of fixing, and then offer us a “solution” to these flaws.

The problem I have with this is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The media tells us what is beautiful, and we blindly obey and then conform ourselves so that society will accept us as beautiful. But enough is enough. I am sick and tired of being told that I should hate my body the way it is and that the only way for me to be beautiful is through the alteration and modification of my natural features by the use of cosmetics.

This is why I’ve decided to conduct my Anti-Makeup experiment. I am throwing down my mascara wand for one week. That’s right, NO MAKEUP for seven days. During this week, I am going to pay close attention to any changes in the way people interact with me- this includes number of “check-outs” (yes, boys, it is that obvious), comments such as “are you not feeling well?”, and also my own self-talk. I will be posting my findings here, so stay with me as we find out just how much value society places on “beauty.”