Beauty and makeup give people the power of self-expression, but too often messages in popular culture tell us it’s not okay to enjoy this power. Those who wear makeup often feel judged about where, when, and how much makeup is ok to apply. There’s even a sign on the subway encouraging people to apply their makeup in the restroom.
This got CoverGirl thinking, “why is there a stigma around applying makeup in public, and is it related to some bigger-picture judgements around wearing makeup, in general?”
So we sent hundreds of people onto the subway and to vanity stations set up outdoors in New York City, asked them to publicly apply their makeup – loud and proud – and then interviewed them about what this act meant, how culture has influenced their choices around makeup and how they express themselves, and what role beauty plays in their lives.
The outcome is #ProjectPDA: that is, Public Displays of Application, to spotlight self-expression through makeup, and to challenge the notion that women have to apologize or hide for their makeup choices.