Lately, a ‘crying makeup’ trend has been floating around and I have my reservations about it. There’s (absolutely) no dearth of beauty trends and aesthetics, with Gen-Z creating a couple almost every week. On most days, it’s quite refreshing to come across a new makeup trend that teaches you something new or is a revival of a vintage one. But on some days, we see trends that make us question ourselves, “Have we gone too far?”
Most of us have been a part of the infamous Tumblr era that loved to romanticise sadness and listen to Lana Del Rey on loop. I thought we’d grown out of it. In 2022, when awareness about mental health is at an all-time high, especially with Millennials and Gen-Z taking steps to start meaningful conversations, this seems like we’re taking a step back.
What Is The Crying Makeup Aesthetic?
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The crying makeup aesthetic, just as the name suggests, is supposed to make you look like you’ve just bawled your eyes out and still look conventionally beautiful. This trend nudges one to forego the fact that feelings and emotions aren’t commodities that can be used to garner likes and views. And so, they aren’t meant to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This trend is achieved using an excess amount of blush in order to make the face appear more flushed than usual with a dash of sparkling eyeshadow and glossy lips that appear swollen.
Here’s Why This Trend Is Dangerous
When we talk about beauty trends, not all of them come from a place of ‘preying’ on vulnerabilities and insecurities. A vast number of these trends subsequently work as a tool of expression, often done using beauty as a mode to do so. Several community spaces on platforms like Instagram and Tumblr are often created to instil a sense of belonging among their target audiences. However, not always and certainly not with every trend that comes off from the realm of social media.
Thoughts of despair, extreme emotions and crying have often been discussed on these platforms in an attempt to ‘romanticise’ them. “When we romanticise a particular feeling, it automatically leads people to strive to follow it. This happens because individuals often see this act as a way to accept their feelings and be unashamed about them,” explains Lajya Nayak, consultant psychologist.
While a wave of celebrities including Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa have often taken to Instagram and posted images of themselves amid a vulnerable moment, that wasn’t a call for us to make a visually-appealing trend out of it. Many have spoken about their struggles with mental health but only in an attempt to destigmatise conversations around anxiety and depression.
The real danger of this trend lies in the notion of sadness being seen as a performing activity instead of being viewed as a state of mind that needs to be felt, expressed, accepted, and dealt with in a safe environment, and professionally if need be.
“When someone sees imagery that caters to a ‘perfect’ idea of sadness, it could lead to a barrage of self-image issues. Sadness and despair is a feeling that needs to be processed without aesthetics being a part of that equation,” adds Lajya. If you are an active consumer of beauty content on the internet and social media, we leave with you a question, ‘Is it fair to translate a moment of honesty into a beauty trend?’