I was so incredibly nervous for today. Up until now I’ve only had to show my face to strangers or people who know me really well. Today I had to go into work with no make-up. (why is it more nerve-wrecking to show my face to people who only know me a little?) The last time I did this I was probably thirteen years old and I was picking blueberries. Even when I was 13 I wore make-up on a regular basis. Sad right? But because it was so hot out and there was no one around I decided not to. Since then I have worn make-up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. When I think about it, it’s so ridiculous, I slather (gross word) my face with chemicals every day so people look I look better, but it’s the truth.
As I walked into work this morning I was getting ready for a bombardment of, “you look tired” or “are you sick?” comments. I was scared and even tried to hide my face from my co-workers at some points, but none of the comments came. In fact, I’m not even sure they noticed a difference. This made me feel terrible in a completely different way then I was expecting. I was spending 50+ dollars a month and 10+ minutes every day on make-up and literally no one could tell a difference? This hit home. Why am I wasting so much of my day and so much of my paycheck if no one else can tell a difference? Also, even if they could tell a difference why should I be trying to look good for them anyway? More of this later.
I think it is important to understand why one wears make-up. If one wears make-up for others I don’t think it is healthy, whereas if one wears make-up for oneself then why not? If it makes you happy and you enjoy it and you don’t depend on it for your self-worth than really there’s nothing wrong with. It becomes unhealthy when you can’t go a day without it, when you are afraid of what people will think of you without it, when you don’t feel as if you are worth as much without it. Food for thought.
Something else that I noticed today was something that I feel terrible about admitting. I normally wouldn’t bring this up to anyone except maybe my fiance because it’s a terrible thought, but I’m going to bring it up now because I need to get all of my thoughts out in the open so I can begin to understand how this make-up thing that is so ingrained in societal culture affects me, and hence affects all the other women out there. I want to one day heal from this no make-up experience so here we go.
When I look at men’s faces I notice that many of them have just as much impurities as my face does. They have pimples, acne, dark spots, bags under their eyes etc. but some how I am okay with this. I don’t dub them as unattractive, I don’t really even give it a second thought, but when I look at a women’s face with impurities and I can tell she isn’t wearing make-up something else comes into my head. I often will think her courageous, brave for showing her bare face. Sometimes I will even think her ugly. I know I’m terrible. I’m not going to disagree with you because I think this sounds horrible. Something to keep in mind while you judge me is that it’s not as if I’m consciously dubbing her as ugly. It’s not like my brain thinks, oh that person is ugly, but actually it seems to be a subconscious ranking in my head. Something I am not consciously thinking about but something that has been so ingrained into my head that this is my opinion without a second thought. When my conscious brain actually picks up on the fact that my subconscious is thinking this, I’m disgusted with myself. Especially when I realize that I wouldn’t have thought this if that person was a man. It is as if subconsciously I think that women must look a certain way to be beautiful.
Why do I think this? It can not be certain, but I think part of it has to do with the media. Think about it. Every show that we watch, every newscaster, every photo on Instagram, women have perfect looking skin. It’s everywhere, but we don’t even think about it, and so it is invisible. Because everyone does it, make-up becomes invisible, and so when I see someone who doesn’t wear make-up suddenly my brain registers it as different or wrong.
I don’t like that I subconsciously think this. So maybe by staring at my face without make-up each morning I’ll be able to break out of this make-up addicted world. Maybe I’ll be able to make my subconscious understand that this is normal, that perfect looking faces aren’t normal and that it is okay to have acne. I hope that I won’t put women on such a pedestal, and that I won’t look down on them when they don’t meet this unattainable goal. Women should be able to be viewed by society as beautiful without make-up. And that’s all I have to say about this for now.
In other news someone put a flower on my bike today. I don’t know whether to be happy or afraid.
Until next time!