This is just an opinion meant to inspire discussion on the subject, not meant to alienate those who disagree.
I remember the first time in my adult life that I looked at myself in the mirror and genuinely liked what I saw without makeup enough to go out like that. It was a few months into my marriage on a regular day. I was getting ready; planning what I needed to do and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “You know what? I look fine without makeup today.” It became my default ever since.
It’s not that I thought that I was ugly, but when I first started wearing makeup I felt that I looked better with it on. The right mascara could make my lashes look fuller and longer than they really were. The right eyeliner and eyeshadow could enhance the color in my eyes. The right foundation could make my skin look flawless. It felt like the presentable thing to do. Back in the day it was scandalous to not wear pantyhose. This seemed like a similar situation. Most of the girls I knew wore at least a little makeup all the time. There was even an article I read that talked about doing an experiment where she didn’t wear makeup for a month and felt horrible about herself because she didn’t feel “put together.” It’s almost ingrained in our culture. So much so that I still feel the need to wear makeup on special occasions or for photos.
There are so many things that people do to their body to change their appearance. Dying hair. Piercing body parts. Extensions. Straighteners. Curlers. Perms. Wigs. Plastic Surgery. Tatoos. Whether it’s to cover up the signs of aging, to change into something wanted rather than what is there, to use your body as a form of physical expression, or just because it’s fun, everyone has an idea of what they want their outer appearance to look like. It makes me wonder if there a deeper reason that we feel the need to change our body rather than just take care of what was given to us.
I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I know the big reason why I did. I looked at all the people around me and wished I could look like someone with “normal” features. Why was my nose so big? Why couldn’t I have longer or thicker eyelashes? Why are my pores so big? Why so many pimples? Why can’t I be smaller or less curvy? Some of these things, like pimples or my weight, I have some control over, but in order to change anything else, I had to either put on makeup to have the illusion of what I wanted or plastic surgery to forcibly change into what I wanted.
The biggest issue with this mindset is that I don’t think people can really be ugly or even ugly without makeup, but I do think that we all have ideals and expectations of what is considered beautiful. I wish eating healthy, good hygiene, and being a good person was all that was needed to be considered beautiful. The wonderful thing about beauty is that you decide for yourself what you consider beautiful and if putting on makeup, dying your hair, getting piercings, tattoos, or plastic surgery is how you are able to achieve this. Have at it! For me, I was finally able to love myself when I was just taking care of myself. Body, mind, and soul. That doesn’t mean “this is who I am – accept it.” This means continually pushing myself to be the best I can be without filters and surrounding myself with things that bring me the most joy. This isn’t to say that I’m perfect at it. There are days when I want to crawl into a hole and bury myself, but the little steps I take everyday to forget myself help.