Monday, September 30, 2013

Life Without Make-Up

"Choosing to live Unveiled"

I guess I'll start this by saying there was a time in my life when I was completely dependent upon make-up. When I first met Chad, I remember talking about how I had to wear make-up to leave my house and he of course told me I didn't need it. how often do we hear that? That summer I remember gathering all of my courage and going to work without any make-up on. I made it until lunch and, rather than eating, ran to a local drug store and bought concealer and I think mascara, and spent the rest of my lunch hour applying "my face." That seems pretty sad to me now. I can't estimate exactly how long it's been since I've worn make-up but I know I haven't seen any of my make-up since we moved into our new house so I would guess it's been since March - at least six months. Several things lead to my decision to give it up.

1. I don't need another crutch in my life. Sure there are flaws that I don't like about myself but everyone has those and covering them up just sends the wrong kind of message. The older I've become the more I've actually learned that I appreciate my flaws. Features I used to want to change because they made me different I actually embrace now. I see that I've passed them on to my daughter and I think they are the most beautiful thing in the world on her. I don't want to teach her to be ashamed of them. I don't need to hide my imperfections from anyone - I'm proud of them. I'm secure with them. I have dark circles under my eyes. Growing up I had people ask me who punched me. They can be pretty intense, but I don't notice them and if I get enough rest other people don't either. Sometimes I think it looks pretty.

2. I've heard women refer to their make-up by many different names. Armor, shield, comfort blanket, mask.  What are we protecting ourselves from? I think the need to cover our faces is a manifestation of our need to hide who we are. It's pressure from society to fit a certain mold but unless you're on TV you're not really hiding anything. Even "natural" make-up still cakes and smears and if you're covering something like acne or scars it often makes them way more obvious and worse later on. It's a vicious cycle. If I see a woman with a lot of make-up caked over acne bumps now I just feel really bad for her. I don't ever think to myself "That girl is comfortable with herself." More often I think "wow, she's really trying hard." or "wow, she must really be self-conscious." Because I know that's how I felt and you can see it in a woman's eyes when she doesn't feel good about herself - in her posture. That is never not the case with a woman buried in layers of make-up. Make-up is a false sense of security in that way. There is a definite difference between getting gussied up and trying out fun new styles with make-up for a special night out and needing to wear make-up every single day to feel safe like I used to. I know of women who will actually apply make-up in front of a date because they can't bear to go one more second with him seeing her fresh faced. What kind of message are we sending to others and to ourselves if our security is found in something so superficial? What kind of message are we sending to our children?

3. Make-up is time consuming. I'm at a point in my life when my time is precious. I really don't want Betty to see me fussing over my appearance every day when I have trouble getting so many other things done in a timely manner. I like to get gussied up on special occasions but every day is completely unnecessary and detrimental to a healthy lifestyle - which we're far from having but are always striving toward.

4. If you're happy on the inside you're attractive on the outside. That's really all there is to it. My opinion is obviously not the one that matters to most women but still, the most beautiful women I've ever met in my life probably had dark circles or visible pimples or whatever but I don't remember because I remember how they were shining with confidence and self-acceptance. I remember big smiles and sparkly eyes. Make-up covers a lot of imperfections but I think it also covers a lot of what makes us beautiful. Fresh faces are beautiful. Laughter is beautiful. Everything else is false and gets in the way.

After living this long without make-up I feel myself being happier and more content. It seems odd to me that I ever worried about it. I hear women close to me apologize if I catch them off guard "sorry, I don't have any make-up on."


 Now I want to be clear and make sure you all know I'm not some militant anti-make-up activist. I'm all for getting dolled up and feeling special for a night out with the girls but if you do it every day it's not special anymore. Also, and certainly not a secondary thought, My skin is SO much better now. My acne, if there, disappears shortly after I wake up and it just looks healthier altogether. I feel pretty when I go out and I feel like myself. I'm not at all self-conscious when people look at my face. I used to think "is my eyeliner smeared?" and then rush to a mirror. that doesn't happen anymore. The most important point in all of this is that it took me several months to get to that point. I would challenge any women who are like I was, addicted, to go six months to a year without make-up. you'll be a happier person for it I guarantee it.

Here's me as I am. Zero make-up, zero filters. just clean skin... flaws and all.

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Thank you for your happy thoughts