I don’t know why I’ve been wearing glasses for the last six months or so instead of contacts because I so much prefer contacts. Without frames in front of my face, I see soooo much better (contacts = a way to pretend you have perfect vision!) and I feel so much more confident and just better about myself. Like I can actually look people in the eye.
And, when I wear glasses I never wear make up.
The thing about make up is, I don’t really like it. Heck, I don’t even know much about it. My one cosmetic essential is my chap stick (which I admit I am obsessed with) but beyond that, I go for months and months and months without applying more than lotion to my face.
But last night I went to a friend’s wedding and this required putting extra effort into what I looked like which basically meant wearing my contacts, dusting off my eyeshadow box and trying to find eyeliner that hadn’t dried up. As I was applying liquids and powders and shimmers to my face I felt…almost..like…less of a woman. Because I couldn’t do my face up for a party.
This got me thinking – make up is a terrible concept. It tells us women that we’re not pretty enough the way we look. That we need to apply products and all sorts of shit in different forms to look “better”.That it’s not acceptable for us to attend functions without putting on a finely painted mask.
What I HATE is how it’s addictive. Because when I finally figured out how to put eyeliner on without looking like I was applying for a job as a lady of the night, I did look better. There are ways to use colors and strokes and shading to enhance features (which I am still learning to do) and looking into the mirror, I surprised myself with how different I could (and did) look. And in this case different=prettier=better so of course, I’d like to repeat that.
I went for months without having to feel like my face needed “enhancement”, but one night of getting dolled up and I found myself making excuse to do it again this morning. It’s for my first day at my new job, I told myself. I didn’t wear as much make up I justified, and I made myself think I needed it to make a better impression. And it’s exactly at this point in my thought process where I am disgusted by myself.
The mere fact that I would want to line my eyes and color my lips simply because I’m going to a new place is a disgrace. I don’t think men bother with such things but for us women, why does it feel necessary to look like someone/something I’m not in order to show the “best” of me?
At times like this, I realize that though I’d like to think these things don’t affect me, I’m just another woman susceptible to the fictitious constructs of what an ideal woman should be. I resent that. I detest the mere idea that in order to try to be this “perfect” woman I have to alter my appearance. To be honest, I’m quite comfortable with the way I look. I don’t think I’m super attractive and I don’t think I’m unattractive, I’m a happy medium and (most days) I don’t want to change any of my features.
So my conclusion is that the devil resides in the tubes and cases on top of my dresser because it’s so easy, it’s so so so so easy, for the commercials and for the media to get into my head to tell me that what I am just isn’t good enough.
And then I remember why I don’t wear make up every day: I knew a girl in high school (yes, HIGH SCHOOL) who spent hours in front of the mirror layering colors and applying and drying and wiping and the one time I saw her in her pure natural form – I didn’t recognize her. I’d gotten so used to her done up face that I didn’t even know what the ‘real’ her looked like.
And that, is a scary scary scary thing.