This is a thought in progress.
This is NOT a dramatic call to action.
It’s just about your face. Ladies, it’s about your face. And it’s about focus – not about confidence, but focus. Beauty is about so many things, both seen and unseen, but mostly it’s about perception. We know that because we can’t even agree in every case on whether something is beautiful or not, much less on its exact degree. But does that even matter?
Makeup is this thing, this widespread “necessary” thing that we start when we shed childhood. It comes in all forms and fashions and it’s actually quite magical, or it is itself a magician, I should say, having the power of transformation. Don’t yell at me – I’m not saying that you’re ugly without it, or that you’re wearing too much, or that it’s evil. I’m not even inspiringly saying that you’re beautiful without it. Or that you aren’t.
Because does it even matter? I’ve been thinking of that for a while. I’ve been thinking of it because after wearing some form of makeup pretty much every day since I was 15, I decided to just stop. I’d been mascara only on the daily for a few years now, but I realized that was still makeup, and it still gave me a kind of false sense that I couldn’t shake. And who said I have to wear it? So I stopped.
You’d be surprised at the philosophical discussions this act has brought into the rooms of my mind (unless you know me, then maybe you’re less surprised). The philosophy will come after the inner dialogue: For a while it was: “Well, this is my face. Yeah, I look like I slept last night. We’re good.” Then it was, “Oh no, I look like I didn’t sleep last night. Those circles. Well, it’s my face.” Then something like, “My face is just not the same as it used to be. Literally. But this is my face. This is my actual face. This is it. And I will live with it.”
But the philosophy –
I was afraid that I wouldn’t be pretty – then I thought of all of the sayings out there that tell you to be confident with yourself; I thought of the no-makeup selfies (taken in really great light on a really good day posing in a really cute way with hair that’s maybe messy but no less attractive [ladies, don’t lie; you know it] with quite possibly the duck face that [who started that?] will now never go away while the post is in itself a ploy to obtain “likes” that tell you that you are the most beautiful person in the world, anyway.
And after many weeks it just hit me – it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to be pretty. No – I’m not saying other people don’t have to think I’m pretty. That’s obvious. I mean I don’t even have to feel beautiful. I mean I don’t have to be beautiful. And do you know why? Because of all the things in the world that I should be worried about, that is just not it.
Pause – showers are good. Maintaining a decent appearance is good. But having to look good is just not the most important thing in the world. And an attempt at seducing every man that walks past you is actually bad. No, it’s not so simple as they can just look away. And every day? Must we wear it every day? Get out the eyeliner for Friday night, sure. But every day? Are you never tired of it?
So may I just focus on something else? Besides my face? Can I get ready in the morning, smile at the mirror, say goodbye to the mirror, and just forget it from there?
I want to focus on God, what He wants of me, on my friends, my family – on their faces, what the expressions mean, what they need, what they want, how they are. I want to focus on catching up on my reading, getting as much as possible from school, being healthy, being my best. I don’t want to go to heaven and have the God of the universe look at me and say of my life, “all was vanity.” And for some reason, I feel that giving up a desire to have a pretty face is one step towards letting go of a life of vanity. I am not whole. I am neither perfect nor consistent in appearance. But in heaven I will be, just as everyone else will be, and for goodness sake, it finally won’t be a competition.
What I’m saying is that, to me, going without makeup isn’t about feeling like a showstopper without it. It’s about shedding the need for praise on appearance altogether, from yourself and from others, because praise for oneself just isn’t what life is about, right?
Being beautiful on this earth really isn’t everything. I promise. Everyone wants to be beautiful, and I’m sure you are, to someone. That’s great. But let it not be what drives you. Please, don’t let it be what drives you.