Sunday, June 27, 2010

Porous Enlightenment

(Note this post was meant to be for Saturday)

Yesterday was Friday. I woke up, had breakfast, went to the library, coded, swam, went to lunch, cleaned, hung out with friends, had dinner with my Dad and drank with friends later. I proceeded through all of these activities in a different way, familiar yet unsure of the new step I had tiptoed into.

Yesterday I did not wear make-up.

Now truthfully, that's a lie, since I did wear a brush of mascara on each upper eyelash, however, that was it. For some, this is a so what? issue, but for those who know me, the times you will see me without make-up can be categorized as when I get out of the pool instantly after swimming, or in the morning after I shower before it is applied. There are some instances of me being less than put together, but the chemical shield travels with me, so even if it's not fully on now, you can bet it will be in the next five minutes. Bottom line, I'm normally covering my face.

Now there is more than one reason for why I wear make-up. The first one originally was because of my acne. While being blessed and not having any discernible large amount of body acne, all of it went to my face in adolescence. Zits, black heads, white heads, and some form of constant rash thing which I can't remember the name of around my nostrils left my face in a mish-mosh of redness. No one wants to see that. Even if everyone else in the world didn't care, I was still forced to see that every time I passed a mirror or reflective surface. It's a well known fact girls check themselves out.

The other, slightly less justifiable, reasons range from the petty to reflections of societal standards. Everyone else wore it. My Mom did not let me wear make-up before Junior year of high school, and while it was annoying at the time feeling like one of the non-pretty girls, I can understand her rational. At 14, you are a baby in the grand scheme of life and shouldn't be focusing on growing up just yet. I didn't see the reasons why I shouldn't wear makeup. I wanted to wear make-up because it made me look pretty, cute, attractive or whatever the word of the day you want to fill in.

The last statement is where the problem lies. While teenage girls are really geysers of insecurity and catty games, ready to blow at any point, they have to look nice while being horrible to live with. A low self-esteem starting point easily leads to an elevation of a problem. Makeup changed from something I did every morning as a choice, into a routine that I was bound to. Instead of something that enhanced my image, it became the only thing that made my face attractive to people in my mind. Outlining this frame of mind that possessed me, and still sometimes does, helps magnify the true weight of an early statement in this post, "Yesterday I did not wear make-up". When a false mask becomes the norm, it becomes very difficult to come to terms with, and appreciate, the reality before you.

I am not damning make-up. Given the time, place, occasion, and person, makeup poses no harm, however, it is almost comparable to substance abuse. For some people with alcohol, they need it to function and face the world. The same could be said for makeup and the ceaseless drive for girls in society to look perfect. It is an addictive means to an end. With this being said, makeup is fun. Anyone who's gotten ready for a ridiculous party can agree with that. I enjoy making my eyes pop with a purple liner and gold shadow around the crease line, however, not feeling acceptable to leave the house without concealer is a cage no one wants to be in. Yesterday I didn't wear makeup and didn't feel any different than when I do. I still enjoyed hanging out, dinner, friends and work. Yesterday was a good day.

1 comment:

  1. For what it's worth, I had no idea you weren't wearing makeup.