I Put on Makeup Today

Submitted by Damaris Ann on Fri, 11/18/2016 - 06:35

I put on makeup today. Now, you're probably thinking, "big deal, so she put on makeup. She's a girl. That's what girls do." But this really is a big deal. It has been over a year since I put makeup on myself. No kidding.
I have let other girls give me makeovers a few times, but it was always one of those just-for-fun things where it was how we spent time together. For myself, I had a few reasons to stop wearing makeup. 1) I stink at applying it 2) I'm lazy and 3) I had a flawed self-image.
Those first two reasons haven't changed, but that third one is being addressed now. I had this mental idea of who I wanted to be about a year or two ago, and the sad (but also happy) thing is that I am realizing that who I wanted to be was not me. It's sad because I shouldn't have had a flawed self-image, but it's happy because now I know who I want to be. I want to be me.
Who I thought I was could best be explained as "natural" or "untouched". I idolized having that raw look; the look that says, "I don't need sprinkles and icing to make me be a pretty cake." I didn't wear makeup, rarely painted my nails, and didn't "do" my hair (except for the occasional clip, or letting someone else do it if they wanted to). I was purely focused on being natural.
Now don't get me wrong, I know some girls that do what I did, but it's right for them. It's THEM. They were born to look beautiful like that. To express themselves by being natural. And they do it beautifully. They are so feminine and graceful. But me, I'm, well, ME. and now I want to be me. I love me.
I think one thing we girls lose sight of is the fact that "what's cool" really isn't always cool. Like we think we need to fit into the cookie cutter shape that pop-culture presents to us. We idolize fitting into a particular stereotype (any stereotype; religious or contemporary), and live to look/act/think/feel a certain way.
Being a Christian, I have certain biblical standards that I hold to in my dress, but those are more like love languages to God than laws. So you could say I fit into a stereotype TO A POINT; but only to the point that I don't reveal very much skin, etc etc etc. If you look at the way I dress compared to every other girl in my church you will immediately notice that I totally have my own style. You can also tell that I do not wear whatever pop-culture has mandated to me.
But what pop-culture has forgotten is that we all have different ways of expressing ourselves; different ways of LIVING. We may not appreciate the skinny jeans, black eyeliner, or big hair as much as the next girl does. We may not all like shoes. Or bling. Or red. Or unnatural highlights. Or whatever on earth is popular at the time.
Dress really is just a form of expression. I'm told by people who know me well that I am bubbly and happy; you see that in the colors I wear. People who know me well also know that I have a very deep side. A serious side. Black or gray, anybody? My mirror just tells me what my heart already knows. My outfits are individual poems, telling you what my personality and character are like.
Sometimes I try (and fail) to project an image of something I'm not. I think society would like us to believe that certain styles are good, and certain styles are not. Some old styles are "in" while others are sneered upon by pop-culture, laughed at by we the people, and discarded for good. Are the Kardashians wearing it? No? Then it's off to Goodwill.
But what if I just want to be me? I think I can be the best me there is. No, I KNOW I can! I'm the only me! How cool is that? I am a unique individual, and if that means that my hair is natural while my eyelids are not, who cares? Nobody. So today I put on makeup, and I LOVED it! I felt feminine and pretty, and I felt like ME.

Author's age when written

Just some thoughts I had today. :) I'm sick of idolizing a false self-image, and so I am doing something about it. :) this might have something to do with the fact that I've been listening to Sara Bareilles's song "I Wanna Be Like Me" which served as a bit of a wake-up call for me. And because my life has been super crazy lately and because of some tough things that I have happened I am realizing that it's not worth it to try and look like something that you're not. So I cut my hair a month ago, and it was the most FREEING thing I have done for myself in years. For realsies.


I like this. Especially "My outfits are individual poems." : ) Our use of clothing, makeup, hair products etc. is largely up for grabs. After the biblical guidelines to dress modestly, with propriety, and not from a vain mindset, we have all the freedom in the world to dress as uniquely as God made us. Thanks for writing! : )

Other than for like a photoshoot with Brighid or something (as portrayed by my profiles), I never wore makeup. I hated it. Now, I'm actually going to get my own makeup. Thanks for this wonderful essay about real beauty!

Introverts unite!
From the comfort of your own homes!

This was sooo awesome, Damaris!!! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart... it was so intimate and real and honest. Your spirit shone through in every word. And I was completely, 100\%, full-heartedly cheering for you when you said "....and if that means that my hair is natural while my eyelids are not, who cares? Nobody," at the end. Cheering with a fist in the air! I feel like people could make a religious statement of eye shadow color, and I love the fact that you're both transcending that and also digging deep to self-love. I'm sorry that you're going through some rough stuff right now. Thank you for continuing to being you, and sharing this piece! I just appreciated the honesty in this so much.

Also, this was very measured and very sensitive towards other people's feelings -- especially the girls who embrace the natural look. I myself didn't try make-up until I was a freshman in college -- I remember my roommate putting mascara on me, and then looking in the mirror and almost falling over from the shock. I didn't hate it or love it -- I just didn't know who was in the mirror. And then for years I couldn't figure out how to apply it. I did a not-so-great job for a long time. Finally I feel like I have the look I want (and who knows, that may change later!). I definitely had a "don't gild the lily" belief in my teen years, but now I love using makeup to enhance beauty. I just love looking beautiful :D (....says the person right now in a sweatshirt and with yesterday's mascara smudged under her eyes hahaha)

Edit: I used to have hair that almost reached my waist, and three years ago I cut it as short as a boy's. It was after a break-up, and I don't want to say it was *because* of it, but it definitely paralleled it and maybe there was something to the connection, however cliche. I'm starting to grow it out again, but, yes, it was SOo freeing.

Oh my! Totally made my day. :) I had to send you an email. :)
YES! That was my reaction when I first had makeup on. I was actually obsessed with makeup in my early teens, and started actually started wearing it when I was 16. I stopped when I was 17. And haha, I still have my eye-shadow on from two days ago and haven't gotten out of my pjs and robe (thanks Texas, you finally learned what fall is supposed to be like). So yeah, I can relate. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

This is great! I almost never wear makeup and am pretty much clueless on how to apply it, so I just go enlist the help of my more proficient friends if I want to step it up a notch. I didn't even put a little bit of makeup on until I was a freshman in college. I admire those who can do makeup well--it really is an art form. If wearing makeup makes you feel good, then you should absolutely do it! This was such an empowering post. Great job!

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thank you for sharing this! I love the part about personal style, and especially how you included that modest dress doesn't negate that possibility. Very true! I'm happy for you that you've found this confidence--it's radiant, and uplifting!

I've had kind of an interest in makeup since I was thirteen, but I very infrequently wear it. Mascara and some foundation are my limit! Haha! I don't even own any eyeshadow currently. :P It's fun to experiment with, though, and there was nothing quite so invigorating as makeovers at slumber parties when I was young!

I hope you're well, Damaris, and having a happy holiday season!! All the best to you!

Oh Damaris, this hit where it mattered. This was so beautifully and realistically and frankly written and I could tell it was from your heart. I love the fact that you actually thought to write it, too! I didn't wear makeup until I was almost fifteen. I was really bad at it, and I only wore it to cover up the irritating acne that comes with entering those teenage years. With practice, though, on myself and Nerys (love ya, little sis :D) it's gotten easier to see that this whole pop black-eyeliner-with-scary-wings-and-intense-highlighter-and-bright-red-lipstick-and-dark-contouring and all that is the mask that so many beautiful girls who don't realize their true beauty hide behind. I like make-up, but not if it hides the real beauty; only if it accentuates the natural beauty with which God has blessed every girl.
Thank you for this lovely essay, Damaris :) And sorry I haven't been on a lot! I have a whole week off of school for Thanksgiving, though, so I should be checking in every now and then now. Well done!!!!

When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.

So true!!! I cannot say enough how perfectly this matches up with my definition of feminine beauty and thoughts on makeup/jewelry. Makeup CAN be worn to the glory of God, certainly. It also portrays a sort of ladylike, classy femininity when you take care in your appearance. I am a very classy type individual, and I definitely have my own style. Take care, Damaris!

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." ~ Anonymous