Why Girls Wear Makeup to the Gym

By Dakota Grossman

Girls who wear makeup at the gym have received a lot of criticism. Many women who have paired their workout clothes with mascara and blush can probably name a time when they’ve felt judged. To others though, it doesn’t seem logical to wear makeup before getting sweaty, right? Logical or not, I believe there are many reasons women do this, but I’ve narrowed it down to three. Whether it’s a full face of cosmetics or a little eyeliner, girls are most likely wearing makeup to show off to their fellow gym rats, to feel more con dent prior to working out or simply because they have been wearing makeup all day and there’s no point in taking it off.

Sex Appeal

Why wear makeup to irt at a dirty gym? I find the fact that women have been pressured by society into the need to wear makeup at the gym annoying. The founder of SIN Workouts of New York City, Vanessa Martin, says New Yorkers are typically “dressed to impress,” and that doesn’t change in an environment where it’s acceptable to be in your natural skin with no makeup. We live in a society with restrictive body images and unrealistic beauty standards. Makeup can be used as a temporary way to appear “beautiful” all day long, even in a place where people should be comfortable working hard and looking their worst. It’s important to remember you can still be attractive by showing off your work ethic, your strength and your health rather than how many cosmetics you used in the morning.


I actually am guilty of wearing makeup to the gym.

I mostly wear makeup to the gym and during athletic competitions so that I can look good and feel good for myself. From the age of 6, sports have been an integral part of my life. While wearing anything from old running shoes to grimy t-shirts to messy ponytails, being “feminine” was rarely a part of my daily routine. Athleticism and sportiness are often linked to masculinity, which has not always been the ideal body image for girls and women. An article posted in Verdict Justia discusses the stereotypes found in sports and how it plays a role in self-esteem.

“The very nature of sports, as developed in schools and at other competitive levels, is associated with core tenets of masculinity — physicality, aggression, competition and winning,” the article stated.

I believe females who are athletic, aggressive, competitive or have a drive for winning are not any less feminine. Makeup is just another way for women to feel beautiful and powerful while working out at the gym, breaking the stereotypes that females can’t be both muscular and pretty. Sometimes makeup has nothing to do with irting, but instead it boosts con dence levels when you’re looking your worst and getting your sweat on.

“Why take it off?

Some women wear makeup to the gym because they simply do not have time to wash their makeup off before they go. Sometimes girls, including myself, are coming straight from work, school or other obligations. Taking our makeup off just wastes time. We live in a fast-paced and busy world, and squeezing in time at the gym may require tricky scheduling. When I get a workout in between classes, I don’t think about washing the makeup off beforehand. This is probably fairly common among other girls.

I believe all girls have the right to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. If they want to jazz it up by wearing makeup to the gym, then they should be allowed to do so and not be judged for their appearance.

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