The Internet can be a cruel, cruel place, as one British teenager discovered this week. Maisie Beech, 19, from Wales, had no idea her half-makeup selfie would cause such a stir — and that so much of the feedback would be negative.
A-level student Beech posted a picture of herself on her social media accounts with half of her face completely bare and the other half in full, dramatic makeup. It quickly went viral, reaching over 2 million people in a couple of weeks, and the teen was faced with harsh comments about her appearance.
Beech told MailOnline that she was inspired to share the personal picture after her brother was amazed at how different she looked after applying makeup. She wanted to show the world that she accepted her face in its natural state, as although she loves makeup, she is equally comfortable to be seen without it.
While some social media users responded positively, praising Beech for her makeup skills, many others have jumped at the chance to spread negativity and put her down, calling her “ugly”, “scary” and “disgusting”. One person even suggested she had cancer.
“Personally, I love putting make-up on, it’s what I do for fun”, said Beech. “I wanted to show that I like make-up and I wear it for myself, but I’ll also happily get on the train brow-less if I want to. It’s sad that this is how society is now. Make-up can be and is a part of fashion and girls like to experiment and be creative, we don’t wear make-up to hide our faces or deceive people. We don’t wear make-up for other people, it’s something we do for ourselves”.
“Women shouldn’t be criticised or called fake or unnatural for wearing make-up in the same way they shouldn’t be called ugly if they’re not wearing any”.
One website uploaded Beech’s photograph with the caption “This is why I have commitment issues”, while another popular male-orientated site captioned it with “When you first start hanging out vs. when she gets comfortable”.
One of the most vicious comments came from a man who said he would punch Beech in the face if he woke up next to her.
It’s not only men who have been unbelievably cruel. Some women commented on Beech’s post that they wouldn’t need so much makeup because they are “naturally pretty”.
“There were very few positive remarks if I’m honest, and it is sad”, admitted Beech. “But I was aware that if I was putting it in the public domain, I am opening myself up to criticism.
“I was shocked at how cruel some people could be just because they were behind a screen”, she added.
Beech now appears to be regretting her decision to share her photo, not because she can’t handle the negativity, but because the outcome was the opposite of what she had hoped for. “It will make people feel like they don’t want to go make-up free because of the comments I got”, she said.
On her Facebook page, she posted this week: “I feel lucky to be in a place in life where other people’s comments genuinely don’t phase me. I put on makeup everyday for myself. This is my face, it belongs to me, and I shall put as much or as little makeup on it as I please. Quite shocked at how many people forget when commenting on a photo that that person is an actual human being with feelings. And I feel sorry for anyone that has to undergo harassment via social media who is not strong minded enough to ignore nastiness”.
Maisie Beech doesn’t only have the eyeliner skills of a makeup ninja — she’s an example to all teenage girls who worry about how other people perceive them based on what they look like. How much makeup a woman wears (or doesn’t wear) has absolutely no bearing on her character, her talents or her abilities. Nor should it affect her self-worth.