finding and embracing beauty
For this blog, I want to inspire beauty among everyone, especially among those with skin conditions. From previous experience, I’ve found a simple way to make myself feel more beautiful when I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. Before I introduce this project, I’d like to make it clear that this is just something that works for me, and it may not work for everyone. Additionally, I am not endorsing nor opposing covering up my skin condition with makeup; it’s merely become a mode of expression for me, which will differ from person to person.
In middle school, I always refused to wear makeup.
There were a few reasons I didn’t want to partake in this prevalent and seemingly social-class deeming activity. I had recently lost my mother to brain cancer, and I felt as if I had no one to guide me through the dos and don’ts of makeup. I was simply surrounded by boys – my dad, brother, and even dog – and I always sought validation through them, not any women. However, I also didn’t want to seem insecure of my skin, or cover up any parts of me. I was not ashamed of who I was, and I’m glad to have maintained that mentality until recently.
It all changed one Christmas morning, when I was staring at one of my stocking stuffers – eyeliner. I was curious if it was as hard to apply as it looked. I had seen several of my friends attempt a huge wing on their eyelids, failing miserably. Perhaps my background with painting classes would pay off in this scenario.
Disclaimer: it did not help.
I also received foundation and concealer. Within ten minutes, my whole face was pancaked with brown power and setting spray. I looked in the mirror, and I was somewhat shocked at the result.
I still looked like me. But I didn’t FEEL like me. I felt pretty and polished, yet plastic and fake. A majority of my white skin was covered, although the foundation was not strong nor dark enough to completely hide the de-pigmentation. After playing around for a few minutes and letting the adrenaline wear off, I ran to the sink, grabbed my make-up remover wipes, and scrubbed off the makeup so hard that my skin turned red, shiny with tears.
While this process was painful, I’m really glad I tried makeup. I learned that even when I may not feel prideful or society’s standard of “beauty”, I am still me. Every spot on my hand has become the manifestation of my vibrant experiences, relationships, and perspective. I’m not against makeup, and I won’t deny the great warm joy I feel when I paint a perfect wing or my lashes look long and full. However, I have no desire to ever wear makeup strong enough to cover my white skin in public, unless it’s for my pure happiness or curiosity.
I would recommend that everyone has a makeover day. Take a before picture and an after picture. Take note of how you look in both pictures, but more notably, how you feel. Comment your reactions down below. The importance here is not strictly appearance or appeasing others; rather, it’s improving our emotional knowledge and awareness of ourselves, so we know how we best function and feel as ourselves.