In Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, she said something that struck me (hopefully, I don’t completely butcher this) about how in her generation, growing up if you were ugly, you were just ugly and that was it. Whereas, in this generation, it’s become our responsibility to be pretty. No one gets to be ugly anymore, there are too many options – makeup, plastic surgery, wraps, nips, tucks, injections.
Kim K is my favorite example of this. I find her rise to fame and continued rise completely fascinating. She is absolutely beautiful. But, let’s be very clear that she attained the way she looks through surgery and other various procedures. Which is fine. That was her choice to make, and by all accounts, she seems happy with her life choices.
My point is, let’s not be disillusioned about what it took for her to look like that.
Let’s not teach girls and convince women that if they work out enough or get their contour just right, they can accomplish that what it took her, I would assume, several surgeries to get to. (Disclaimer: Kim hasn't admitted to having surgery, nor do I have proof she did. I am making this assertion based on being a human woman with a body and two eyes looking at her changing over the years.)
It is absolutely not your responsibility to be pretty; you don’t owe it to anyone
A few years ago, I stopped wearing makeup on a daily basis. I had a variety of reasons to stop wearing it. The leading of which was that I started to not like my natural face – I would wake up in the morning and couldn’t wait to cover my face with makeup and be pretty again. I didn’t like that feeling. I didn’t like being dependent on makeup to feel attractive in my own skin. I wanted to feel good about what I looked at in the mirror.
My skin is sensitive and no matter what kind of makeup or how little I wear, my skin doesn’t love it. My skin still breaks out now without wearing makeup, but it happens much less and my skin looks healthier by itself. I also had several less important reasons that all seemed to pile into the one big ‘I don’t want to do this anymore', for example, the time it was taking me to get ready. I simply do not want to get up early in the morning and spend the time putting on makeup before work everyday.
The financial investment, $30 a lipstick is practically a steal. I was traveling and came to the realization that if TSA took my lipstick/lip gloss bag, that was a loss of hundreds of dollars for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to put on a shirt and covered the neckline with makeup and had to change. Or wiped lipstick on a dress, and now it’s stained and can’t be worn again or sometimes even for the first time. The inconvenience of ruining sheets, towels, shirts, dresses with foundation, mascara and lipstick, is simply not worth it to me. I am sure my environment helped as well. I work from home for the most part and I also work in technology. My experience has been that most of the people I interface with on a daily basis care more about my brain than my beauty.
Since I stopped wearing makeup, it has transformed the way I treat my body, changed how I react to feeling unattractive, and changed how I feel about myself. When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, my reaction is largely about my health. If I look tired with big dark circles around my eyes, I know it’s important for me to get more sleep or better sleep (I have a terrible habit of sleeping with the TV on and with my laptop, iPad and iPhone all in bed with me). When I start to look like the crypt keeper, it reminds me that I need to chill out on the electronics at night. This is also an indicator for my stress level as I wear my stress on my face, and I can tell by looking at myself how well I am managing my day-to-day pressures. When my face breaks out, I don’t reach for the concealer or YouTube instructions on contouring acne. I now think about how much water I’ve been drinking. I, of course, wonder if or whether my period is coming.
Don’t get me wrong, I still wear makeup at times and think, you sexy little minx, you! The difference is when I take it off, I don’t feel sad about what’s underneath.
Self-esteem can't be bought.
Though it has become the standard to wear makeup daily, don’t forget makeup is an enhancement to beauty, not the beauty itself.
It is not an essential or a necessity, you can spend a whole day without makeup, a whole week even,and you would not die. Your skin might even thank you.