Make-up isn't 'trivial' and it's ridiculous to think teenage girls are undermining '#MeToo' because of it

love island 

There are precious few things that make me more annoyed than when so-called feminists start bashing the beauty industry and women's right to wear make-up. So when I read the comments by headmistress Jane Lunnon, in which she judged teenage girls for spending  “an awful lot of time” worrying about “what brand of false eyelashes” they should buy or “what kind of mascara” to wear, I was left reeling. 

Ms Lunnon also said: “The concern is around what a lot of young women are doing to their bodies. There is so much around ‘how do I look? How am I presenting myself?’ rather than ‘What am I saying, what are my views, what are my values, what matters to me, how am I helping to shape the world I live in?’” 

My question to you, Ms Lunnon, is why can't teenage girls be into both make-up and current affairs? I was hugely into make-up as a teenager - along with most of my friends - but we've not ended up in the drudges of society, only relying on excellent mascara application to get by. No, ask any female above the age of 30 and I'm sure they too went through the common rite of passage for teenage girls, experimenting with make-up and how they dress.

I wonder if she considered the likelihood that almost all female politicians, scientists, engineers and lawyers also went through the same rite of passage. Indeed - I'm sure she did too. I'm not going to judge back but she certainly seems to know the power or a red lipstick herself. Assuming that young girls are not feminist because they want to wear make-up is total rubbish. Teenage girls and young women have been using make-up for centuries, not only since the Kardashians and Love Island crashed into popular culture.  

Mrs Lunnon speaking at an event in 2016 Credit:  Julian Andrews

Ms Lunnon clearly seems obsessed with Love Island but what she doesn't understand is that with her comments she is assuming that every girl in her teens is aspiring to be a contestant. I mean, really? Sure, there'll be girls - and boys, importantly - who will want to apply for a place on the show but glorified popularity contests disguised as reality TV were popular way before Love Island. It is patronising and insulting to assume that teenage girls who want to wear make-up are automatically ditching a professional career or feminist values for a bikini-clad week in Mallorca in the Love Island villa.  

And what about the blokes? I hugely doubt Ms Lunnon would question teenage boys on why they're whiling away the hours watching sports when they should be 'concentrating' on other things. And if she saw the actual line-up of Love Island the men are equally into their appearance as their female co-stars. 

Ms Lunnon continued to say that there is still a “battle to be fought” for feminism and women may have to “decide which camp we are in”, between Love Island or ‘Me Too’.  Really? Must we decide between the two? The 'Me Too' movement sprouted from sexual assault allegations, so by suggesting that women who spend time on make-up are undermining or conflicting with the movement, is she also assuming teenage girls are encouraging assaults by wearing too much make-up? Teenage girls aren't undermining 'Me Too' and women. These kind of judgemental comments are.