“[T]his website will teach you that all the faces you draw look the same and you need to work on that”
It is a remarkable experience to scroll through the images and see just how much variation there is in the human face. Even though there is quite a bit about the people pictured that is similar, (they are all clearly caucasian, and I would venture a guess that they are all from the same country, probably even the same part of the same country and likely the same socio-economic class as well) they are all quite clearly very different people.
In discussions about make up (I have a long illustrious history of handwringing about make-up & beauty) one idea that I’ve heard brought up more than a few times is the idea that make-up and other beauty routines are a way to express one’s individuality. This idea doesn’t make much sense to me. Much of the make-up and fashion advice out there doesn’t teach you how to make yourself look different than other people, it shows you how to make your face closer to the mythical ‘ideal’ face, or the ‘ideal’ body type.
The advice tells you how to cut & style your hair to make your face look more oval, instead of the round, heart, diamond, or square shaped head that you actually have. It tells you what clothes to wear so that you look like you have a long lean hourglass shape (or as close as you can get to it) instead of the pear, apple, or rectangle shaped body you actually have. It tells you how to make your thin lips look plump, or your too plump lips look thinner. It tells you how to make your close set eyes look farther apart, or your wide set eyes look closer together. Draw attention away from the ways you are different, and highlight the ways you look similar.
Even the various sorts of countercultural fashions that widen the differences between groups ultimately serve to compress the variation between individuals of the same group. So yes, the [member of group A] looks very different than the [member of group B], but the [member of group A] looks like every other [member of group A] and the [member of group B] looks like every other [member of group B].
So in short, I don’t think that ‘expressing individualilty’ is really an accurate description of why most people wear makeup, or engage in other sorts of popular fashion and grooming. Which isn’t to say that I think there is no good reason to wear makeup or whatnot, just that individuality isn’t it.
If you want to be an individual, it is worth considering the fact that you already are.