Over the weekend I joked what life would be like without makeup…
Sometimes I wish I looked good without makeup, but then… what would I do in the morning? Just leave the house like whatever?
— Jennine Jacob (@thecoveted) April 5, 2014
Of course, I leave the house all the time without makeup. People ask, “What happened?” most of those times. But whatevs. I could chalk that up to getting older, but they asked, “What happened?” in my teens as well. What do I look like without makeup? This:
That’s me in the morning, sometime after my first cup of coffee and before my morning shower. So there you have it. An unfiltered, non-photoshopped 39-year-old me, pores and all.
I’m confused when it comes to makeup. On one hand I want to say, “Accept yourself the way you are!” And with the other hand, I’m Googling Fraxel laser treatment and researching if tattooed eyebrows can ever look natural (because I HATE when my brow pencil smudges or wears away). Part of me hates the endless spiral of fixes my insecurities throw me on. The other part of me knows that without my superficial insecurities I would have to obsesses over something other than shoes and makeup, and and perhaps shoes and makeup are easier to look at than fixes for some of my deeper, less visible flaws.
In my mind I thought ‘if only I could be like someone else,’ but in that desire, I failed to see the gifts I had to offer. Sure there are lots of tricks I can use to look ‘beautiful’, like wearing nice clothes, styling my hair, wearing makeup, and exercising, but those are all just extras. I’ve tried them all to feel beautiful, and they help, but it’s a slippery slope, because no matter how many shoes you have, not one of them is going to fix what’s going on in your mind. Believe me, I have tried, and tried. ~Everyone Is Beautiful, The Coveted 2009
In the last five years, I’d like to say I’ve grown. That I obsess less about superficial crap. But I don’t. I still get that feeling of hope every time I buy a new beauty product:
“Will THIS mascara give me beautiful lashes?”
“Will THIS primer erase my pores?”
Because you know, once I’m beautiful, then people will like me.
This idea of beauty=happiness cuts down to the core of many insecurities. So much so, when Elsy Anthonijsz aka Glam_Her_Booth posted her contouring tutorials on Instagram, it made waves on the internet. Who needs plastic surgery and photoshop now that we have contouring? Look at what contouring can do… it can make a plain girl into a knockout!
Even Into the Gloss, has now become Into the Foundation with all their contouring tutorials and “instant nose jobs.” It’s pretty apparent that many of us would love to look like someone else.
This week, the Man Repeller, Leandra Medine talked about why she didn’t wear makeup in response to a man who had called her ugly. She discussed in her eloquent post, not the political nature of makeup, but the underlying reasoning we feel the need for it. Feeling comfortable in one’s skin. Coming to terms with one’s looks, something that she has done… which is wonderful, as at her age I was so far from even thinking about coming to terms with my own looks. Then again, at her age (and even my age) I was far from many things she has been able to accomplish.
Makeup doesn’t make a person more beautiful any more than it makes a person feel like they can make a difference with themselves. I feel part of my makeup wearing is rooted in feeling like I have some kind of control over what I look like. That a tiny bottle can stop time, or a pencil can give me Brooke Shields brows. I can choose my looks, not the DNA that was given to me. Maybe my transformation isn’t so much like the girl in the Glam_Her_Booth, nor is it in my attitude like the Man Repeller. It’s somewhere in between. Makeup makes me feel like I can make myself beautiful.
Maybe that feeling of being able to change… maybe that’s all we really need.