I’ve Mostly Stopped Wearing Makeup And It’s Been Surprising
About six months ago, I decided to try an experiment. Since I was 11 or 12, like most girls, I started wearing makeup. I was a typical teenager, embarrassed about acne and wanting to look like girlfriend material (HA). My parents didn't like it, but it made me feel better about myself at the time. It became a habit and I continued wearing some form of makeup for most of my life. I was never one to cake it on very heavy, but I'd wear a base foundation and some mascara or something. As an adult, I wore less, but still normally had something on, because I have a condition related to my MS that is called rosacea. My cheeks get really red and it looks like I'm flushed a lot of the time. So makeup helped make that less noticeable.
But I was thinking about expectations and reality and what it means to wear makeup every day, like a habit. So many times it's considered somehow wrong or inappropriate for a woman to walk around without makeup on. That's not fair, and I know that. But things are changing a little bit, I know some dudes will put on a little makeup every now and then. I applaud that, if you want to do it. If you don't want to do it, and you're doing it because you think you have to - because someone else expects you to do it, that's different.
I've always been the type to applaud equality when it comes to gender/sexuality/race/creed, you know, blah blah blah. I thought about what women are expected to look like, and how I never really tried to fit into all of that conforming ideal. So what was this last little part I was holding onto? I thought to myself, why am I wearing makeup? Is it just to make other people more comfortable, or is it to make me more comfortable? I shouldn't have to change my appearance to make other people happy. I should be able to be me, straight up, and people can either take it or leave it. If a man doesn't have to wear makeup and can be accepted, dammit, then so can I.
So I finally decided to try something. I decided to stop wearing makeup. Well, not altogether. If I had a special occasion or a live remote broadcast, I would wear some. But for everyday things and work? I wouldn't.
At first, it was strange. I felt... not necessarily bad about it, but I was a little self conscious. I'd go to the store and wonder if people were staring. I'd go to meetings or to social events and wonder if I stuck out. After a while, I realized that... nobody noticed. If they did, they didn't say anything about it. Husbando didn't even notice. After about a month, I wasn't self aware about it anymore. I didn't even think about it. It was about five minutes out of my morning routine that was just gone. I didn't notice it anymore.
And now, I don't know if I'm going to go back. I certainly don't Like spending forty dollars on a special compact every few months. It'll save money, at least. And some time. And now that it doesn't really bother me, why fool with it? I will probably keep doing what I'm doing - special occasions or work functions, makeup. Everyday life? No.
I'm keeping some of it because there are parts of wearing makeup that I like. I like the way the powder smells, little things like that. I'm doing that for me. Not because of someone else, but because I like it. I can be myself the way I want to be. There's something... liberating about that. A little thing that doesn't mean much turned out to be a little bit of an insight.
So I hope we've learned something today. If you like wearing makeup, great. If you don't, great. Don't feel like you have to do something you don't want to do just because of someone else's expectations!