bare minimum and chapstick and mascara twitter

Photo via Voyagerix/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Jason Reed

The depressing feud between ‘bare minimum’ and ‘chapstick and mascara’ Twitter

The terms mock women for having depressingly low standards.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 29, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 9:36 am CDT

There are a couple of new terms circulating on Twitter dot com that you may have noticed: “bare minimum Twitter ” and “chapstick and mascara Twitter.” What do these mean? Are they basically the same thing? Is one related to the other? We looked into the terms, and it’s all terrible. Really, just leave now. You don’t want to know about Twitter feuds that critique women with depressingly low standards for their partners. Oh, wait, you do? OK, fine. Here’s what it’s all about.

Bare minimum Twitter

“Bare minimum Twitter” is people who congratulate men for doing the bare minimum as a decent human being/partner. An easy example of this is the people who praised the man who talked about loving his curvy wife on Instagram. The critics of “bare minimum Twitter” think that men should not receive accolades for simply existing. We should (rightly) have higher standards, they say.

Here are some other good explanations of the term,:

Chapstick and mascara Twitter

In the last week, a couple of viral tweets used the term “chapstick and mascara Twitter.”

Chapstick and mascara Twitter is very similar to bare minimum Twitter. The term is referring to those women who claim to not need to wear makeup and just walk out of the house with some chapstick and a little mascara—and these women also bash on those who love to wear makeup. The term chapstick and mascara Twitter is pointing a finger at these women and telling them to stop judging women who choose to wear makeup.

People have been using the term chapstick and mascara Twitter since last year, but it didn’t really take off on a wide scale until this past week, when people used it to call out women who excuse bad behavior from men. And the reactions to the term have been great.

Some people are now using the term interchangeably with bare minimum to identify people who praise men for treating women with an ounce of respect.

The term is also another way of calling a woman basic.

What’s the difference?

There is a lot of confusion, though, about the terms. Can you be a part of both bare minimum and chapstick and mascara Twitter? It seems like you can, although it’s probably not a good thing if you identify strongly with these groups.

Yes, you can be a person who uses minimal makeup AND has high standards for the men in your life. You can also be a person who loves makeup and has low standards for men. But these terms are referring to a small subset of women who are fine with minimal everything, from makeup to positive treatment from men.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 29, 2017, 12:52 pm CST