François Nars Says Instagram Beauty Trends Risk Trapping Women In “Prisons”

“If makeup becomes a corset, it’s not a good thing or a good message for women around the world.”

backstage at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at N.Y. State Armory on February 14, 2011 in New York City.

With social media beauty gurus like Jaclyn Hill, Jeffree Star, NikkiTutorials and Laura Lee, the makeup industry has refocused its efforts to market the industry as trends on internet platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. It’s an effective method, and if you were to click on any beauty guru’s YouTube channel, you’ll generally find similar reviews of the same eyeshadow palettes, highlighters and liquid lipsticks that are trending its way across Instagram. But is this message good for the beauty community overall?

François Nars recently interviewed with The Cut to address Instagram beauty trends and the effects it has on women. For one, the Nars founder said he doesn’t have an Instagram account at all. “I don’t have it. I don’t know why. I always feel a bit nostalgic of the past when there was more mystery. But at this moment, I’m not into it.”

Nars discussed his most recent collaboration with photographer Man Ray, stating that Ray’s work feels modern and new. When asked about what doesn’t feel so new in the beauty industry, he mentioned it’s the “whole social media movement” toward makeup putting women back into “prisons.”

Some makeup artists are sending messages that people have to look a certain way or that they have to do things to their faces that aren’t modern and feel more like it should remain in a museum,” Nars said. “It’s certainly interesting and fun to look at. With certain looks seen on the internet, you really have to spend five hours and you have to have a very good makeup artist. I don’t know what modern working woman today can afford to paint themselves for hours.

Anyone who’s seen a YouTube makeup tutorial knows how extensive and expensive the process can be. Nars’ argument is that makeup should free women, not confine them to specific standards and rules. He used the philosophy of designer Coco Chanel to confirm his message.

“My philosophy is simple, I want women to feel good in their own body,” Nars said. “I don’t want them to feel like it takes five hours to achieve something and look good. My message for women is to make them feel like makeup is easy and not scary, and not something you feel like only a good makeup artist can achieve. I like things to move on. I always give that example of Coco Chanel — she liberated women by removing corsets. If makeup becomes a corset, it’s not a good thing or a good message for women around the world.”

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