Story of Beauty from Sightless Women's Perspective
On social media this week, I noticed the media praising makeup artists at a salon in San Paulo teaching blind or visually-impaired women how to do their makeup. They learned steps that any sighted person would: applying false lashes, mascara, lipstick, and more. This may sound odd to you. Why would someone who can’t see themselves need to apply makeup?
Well as a sighted person, you wouldn’t immediately understand. When applying makeup, a sighted woman sits in front of the mirror and judges everything she is doing based on sight. But for someone who is blind beauty is just as important, only in a different way.
Photo via National Review
In this photo, you can see braille on mascara bottles. And even though these women may not be able to see themselves or at least not clearly, they know that makeup and beauty is more than what you see in the mirror. Once you put makeup on in the morning, you likely don’t stare at yourself all day. You go about your day knowing that others can see you. You go about your day feeling like you put time and effort into yourself in a way that makes you feel confident.
A few years ago the No Mirror Makeup Challenge became a popular video on YouTube. And no pun intended, but it opened my eyes. As a sighted person I struggled with knowing where I should look if not a mirror, how to apply mascara without stabbing myself in the eye, and making sure everything was well blended. It was a fun experiment. But there are so many women that do this everyday. And not only are they mirrorless, but they can’t see the products or the colors they’re using. So braille on makeup products seems like a reasonable addition to the beauty world. Just like captions in movies and TV for the deaf, accessibility shouldn’t be so hard to find.
A video that really stuck out to me was posted on Kandee Johnson’s channel. Now Kandee is a wildly popular makeup artist and has been making beauty videos on YouTube for years. She is an expert, and shared a collaboration video featuring Molly Burke, a blind YouTuber that loves beauty and fashion.
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It was so fascinating to see a blind girl applying makeup everyday without seeing herself alongside a woman with sight. The struggles they each faced in the video were entertaining, but also allowed me see beauty from a different perspective.
So why would Molly Burke or blind woman take the time to focus on how they look when they can’t see? Not only does Molly love beauty and fashion, and maybe even more most of us, but in that video she talks about how relearning such a visual passion was empowering after she lost her sight. Just because she could no longer see something she loved so much didn’t mean she would quit it. She found a new way to love beauty. And The phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder is more than relevant here. When that beholder is blind, the eye is replaced with other senses.
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She offers such a refreshing and positive, yet realistic attitude towards being blind and what beauty means to her. And although every blind woman doesn’t have the same opinions, Molly opening up about her experiences through makeup lessons for the blind makes sense. Women who are blind or visually-impaired should not be cut off from the beauty world. They deserve to indulge in beauty and makeup just as anyone else.
So hopefully these makeup lessons spread around the world to tell sightless women's elf-esteem and confidence. Why should sighted women have exclusivity on makeup?
Cover photo via National Review