Embracing My Face
This is my face before 8am, less than two hours awake
This is my skin, my freckles and sun damage, my wrinkles, my blemishes and blackheads.
These are my eyebrows, light and wonky and not “on fleek,” (said like a twenty-something mom who isn’t hip and doesn’t even know what that phrase means really).
These are my lips, with natural pigment oddly missing from one side.
This is my nose, lopsided because one nostril is bigger than the other.
These are my eyelashes, long but almost blonde, so without mascara you can barely tell they are there.
This is my face, the one I was born with, uncovered.
Bare-Faced in the Workplace
Today, I went into work without makeup as I often do. I go “all natural” far more often than not.Mostly, it’s because after showering, getting dressed, making my lunch, making breakfasts, dressing kids, I’m already late before I even put on makeup. But partly, it’s a practice in vulnerability. Also partly, not wearing makeup is a middle finger to a sexist culture that tells me I am “not enough” or “less than” without makeup.
I reject the notion that the right combination of concealer, foundation, blush, highlighter, bronzer, contouring, sculpting, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, gloss, and finishing powder somehow magically makes me professional. I reject the notion that it makes me more beautiful. I reject the nagging feeling that I need it.
This is me, unapologetically.
Do the men in my workplace wake up in the morning thinking “I need to put on makeup to be taken seriously at work today?” No. So why should I internalize that message? I take care with my appearance in the way that I dress, taking regular showers, brushing my teeth, and making sure my curly hair looks work-appropriate (curly-haired girls know the tendency to look kooky is very real).
Facing Your Bare-Faced Fear
We’ve all known a woman or girl who is afraid to take off her makeup and let the world see her bare face. Perhaps that person is you. Let me lift you up:Your worth is far deeper than your skin. Your smile, attitude, discipline and work ethic, your kindness towards others–all of these things speak louder than any cosmetics ever could. Those are the things that make you beautiful.
But please don’t mishear me. I like makeup. I think it’s fun, like putting on a little costume. And, truthfully, I do think I look better with makeup. But this thought and feeling is one I’m constantly having to suppress, because it’s deeply rooted in our culture, and it’s not correct.
This face, THIS is the way God made me, and that is wonderful. I don’t need makeup to improve my appearance… and neither do you.
I’m not saying you should give up makeup, not at all, but I do think we should start bravely confronting our insecurities head on. I encourage you to try, though it may feel uncomfortable and foreign at first, to face the world–boldly and fearlessly bare.