YouTube users discuss whether makeup is superficial

Makeup: Tool for patriarchy, fun hobby, or empowering aspect of self-identity?

The debate has raged on since at least the feminist movement of the 1960s, if not long before that as well. And Mike Rugnetta of PBS Digital Studios is weighing in with his video "Why Makeup Isn't Superficial."

For those who don't know, there's a fairly major cottage industry of YouTube makeup tutorials whose audience consists mostly of teenage girls. (And me! Michelle Phan, Zoella, Tanya Burr, and Patricia Bright are a few of my personal favorites.) Some are worried these videos put increased pressure on young girls to wear makeup in order to appeal to potential romantic partners. But others, like myself, see the ways in which makeup can be both personally empowering and fun so long as everyone feels that wearing or not wearing it truly is a choice.

Vlogbrothers star and The Fault In Our Stars author John Green also came down on the side of makeup as a tool for empowerment after wearing it during his press tour.

Irish vlogger Melanie Murphy weighs in on how makeup gives her confidence.

This every day tutorial from actress Anna Akana is a slightly more philosophical take on the topic.

And in addition to some super helpful tips, Louise Pentland of Sprinkle Of Glitter offers a nuanced perspective as well.