I have a confession to make: I am an addict. I’ve been battling this addiction for nearly five years now. I’m not proud to say it, but hi, my name is Alice, and I’m an Ultaholic. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my affliction, Ultaholism is an obsession with Ulta, Sephora, and other stores that sell one thing and one thing only: makeup. Everybody copes with stress in their own way, and my way is buying obscene amounts of makeup. The worst part is that on a day to day basis, I never even touch any of the ridiculous amounts of makeup that I buy. I justify buying two more bottles of nail polish because I never leave Ulta frowning, and hey, it’s still cheaper than therapy. I realize that retail therapy is far from the healthiest way of dealing with problems, but it could be worse. Whereas some addictions make families and friendships fall apart, mine just makes my nails look FAB-U-LOUS. I know that by just mentioning the word “makeup,” about 50% of you turned the page. No self-respecting manly man would be caught dead reading about something that is just sooo X-chromosome. After all, you swore you would only read articles in the Opinion section of Rampant Lines that pertain to your two favorite B’s: bacon and butts. But bear with me for a sec. I have a point. I’ve heard males and females alike call girls who wear makeup “fake” or imply that by wearing makeup, they are tricking people into believing that they are more attractive than they actually are. I find this accusation to be particularly offensive when it comes from males because if anything, guys are worse in the puffery department. Take for example, cars. I have a hypothesis that guys with big, souped-up cars must be compensating for something else being extraordinarily small. And to girls who decry us makeup-wearers, not all of us can be as naturally gorgeous as you are. Sorry ‘bout it. But before you call me superficial, hear this: in the early stages of my cosmetic obsession, I felt utterly ashamed of myself. Wearing makeup went against all of my lefty, bra-burning feminazi scruples: I should’ve been combatting heteronormativity and deconstructing the patriarchy, not painting my face to fit in to some male-centered societal paradigm. I thought that wearing makeup reinforced the same tired gender stereotypes that have been clucked about since Homo sapiens squawked their first syllable: women primp to gain male attention for naught because men only care about one thing, and it surely isn’t what lipstick they are wearing. But eventually I realized that I didn’t buy makeup to be deemed valuable by men; I wear makeup because I consider it an extension of my identity. Wearing makeup really isn’t anybody’s business except for mine, and shaming girls who choose to wear makeup is more anti-feminist than wearing makeup is in the first place: the goal of feminism is to make any woman’s expressions of femininity (or lack thereof) embraced, not to denounce women for expressing their womanhood in the manner they see fit, whether that is through short skirts and makeup or through boy-cut hair and a natural face. So ladies (and gents, no judgement), wearing a full face of makeup is fine. Wearing no makeup is fine. The only cosmetic choice that isn’t fine is judging people based on their makeup.