I’ve never been very good at make-up, nor have I been very interested in it, and yet I used to feel like I couldn’t leave the house without it. This begs me to question, just like everything else in my life: WHY?
Last summer was a point in my life where I decided to make some changes in my life. I started doing yoga everyday, I quit smoking, and then, I quit make-up. After meeting an inspirational person who was soon to be my friend, she changed my perspectives on things. She didn’t wear make-up, she didn’t shave her legs, or armpits, she just didn’t give a fuck!
After being initially a little shocked at how little effort she put into her appearance, shock transformed into inspiration. She was saying with her body; “THIS IS MY BODY, I CAN DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT, I CAN LOOK HOW I WANT, AND I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.” At least, that is the message I took from it. It made me realise that I had been wearing make-up, dressing, and doing my hair for everyone else. I was not doing it for me, and it was getting me nowhere. And along with all my other changes that summer, this was something else I was going to face.
After my body being used, and my control being stripped away from me, I realised I wanted to do this for myself. Really it was easier than I expected, with a change in perspective, I didn’t actually have to DO anything. I just stopped. I stopped shaving my armpits, I shopped shaving my legs, I stopped wearing make-up and even my deodorant usage became limited to certain situations.
I got to know myself without the mask.
All the same, I got to perceive myself as something more than my looks. Instead of my physical appearance being central to who I was, how I expressed myself became principle to my sense of self. Those whole were searching for something aesthetically pleasing to gawk at, generally looked through me, and those who were interested in knowing me for who I was, showed me just how beautiful I was.
It was in this time that I met my boyfriend, who saw my beauty in the diverse facial expressions which I make, in my open and uninhibited body language, in my emotional yet excitable personality, in my perceptions of the positivity of this world, and as me as who I am.
This is not to say that make-up is a negative thing, or that you can’t take pleasure in it. I am wearing make-up as I write this. These days I generally shave, and dress in a way that I like. But taking off that layer of war-paint, has taught me to be confident in my vulnerabilities. It has taught me to be me for myself, and not merely for the pleasure of others. And it has taught me the importance of the beauty within.