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.(:

Day 1

Judge nothing by the appearance. The more beautiful the serpent, the more fatal its sting.

– William Scott Downey, Proverbs

I’ve survived a complete 24 hours makeup-free. At this point, i’m seeing more pro’s than con’s to ditching the cosmetics. Probably the most beautiful part of it all is that I get to rub my eyes as much as I want to. And also, it takes me about 25 less minutes to get ready in the morning when I don’t have to spend time darkening my ridiculously blonde eyelashes. 25 minutes saved in the morning means 25 extra minutes of sleep, which i’m going to need if I can’t cover the bags under my eyes with foundation.(:

My mom questioned why I hadn’t applied my regular mascara and eyeshadow that morning, so I told her about my little project to which she responded, in the typical, motherly way, “you look like you’re twelve. But you’re still beautiful!”

I noticed that yesterday I spent a lot less time looking in the mirror. I didn’t have to check for smudges from accidental face-touches. After all, there was nothing to smudge!

Although I spent a lot less time in front of the mirror, I feel like I spent twice as much time as usual comparing myself to other girls I associated with throughout the day. I’d often think to myself, “man, her skin is so clear.” or, “her eyes are gigantic!” or, “I wish my eyelashes could reach my eyebrows like hers do.” I’m not going to lie, I almost felt a little bit inferior to other girls. I felt as though I wasn’t as “pulled together” as girls who had taken time to put on mascara that morning.

I didn’t notice any drastic changes in behavior of my classmates at school, to my disappointment. I went about my own business as usual, and the cutie at the front desk at the library even gave me the “nod.”

Things were different at work, though. Before I tell you about that, you’re gonna need some background information. I am currently employed at a trampoline park in my neighborhood, and we just barely got new management. One of the new employees that came with the new management has been making passes at me ever since he started working with me. But the instant I walked in to work, he walked right up to me and said, rather quickly and monotonously, “You look beautiful.” I was feeling the sting of sarcasm already and my shift hadn’t even begun. I made some snarky comment back and then went about my workday as usual.

Halfway through my shift, another coworker came in to start his. Again, one of the first comments he made to me that day was how “pretty” I looked. Now, this is a coworker who normally wouldn’t speak with me at all unless it was regarding something about work, and granted, he was only kissing up because I am his supervisor. But why do people feel the need to comment on my appearance, especially in the workplace? I didn’t recall asking anyone what they thought of my appearance, and I have to believe that both guys commented on it because they noticed that I’d made a change in the way I was presenting myself.

Isn’t that funny how the only people who even commented on my appearance were boys? Not a single girl I spoke with, besides my mom, even asked me why I wasn’t wearing makeup or whether I was feeling well that day.

I’ve gotten some awesome feedback from pals, so thanks for that guys! And also, if you’re feeling brave, join me in abstaining from makeup.

Comparison-Look at my tiny eyes!

Comparison-Look at my tiny eyes!

Trust me, sweethearts, it is NOT a necessity.

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.”