It's crazy how a person can transform in just a month when you take certain barriers away.
Today is the 31st, the last day of my "no-makeup fast". I had the intention to give my face the space to breathe and had hopes of curing my acne once and for all.... My face definitely had the chance to breathe, and my acne did calm down, but not as I had hoped or expected. I guess this is just another lesson in patience.
On a forever positive note, I learned much more about myself than I had anticipated. For one, I'm a lot more self-conscious than I allow myself to believe. In the first couple of weeks without make-up, I felt uncomfortable going out places because I wasn't "dolled up". I avoided clubs and bars, parties, overall social gatherings where I felt like I'd be seen in the public eye "looking a mess".
It made me ask myself, "Who am I doing this for? Why do I feel so strongly the need to be 'made up'?"
Society has placed a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and represent femininity in a certain way.
For a big portion of my adolescence, people asked me if I was gay because I rarely wore make up, and would dress comfortably in "boys clothes". That was just how I felt the most comfortable. And honestly, I always thought I was a pretty girl.
In high school, I started really digging into make-up. I became really good at doing my own make-up, mostly because of hula shows, and music performances, and for awhile, it was fun for me... it was art.... Later it started to become a crutch. I didn't like the way my face looked without it... So I started waking up extra early to apply foundation, eye liner, blush, mascara, and gloss so that I could be the "prettier" version of myself.
Even in my lazier days, when I would just put on eye liner and mascara, and fill in my eye brows, I couldn't go anywhere without it. Not to work, not to school, a bare face was my house face.
This article isn't in any way to shame women who wear make up, but I encourage you to ask yourself, "who are you doing it for". There was a time when I was applying make up because I liked it, enjoyed the craft of painting a face... later, I did it because of how I looked to other's. That's when I did it for the wrong reasons, in my opinion.
This month was so liberating. To wake up, clean my face, get dressed, and start my day.... To rub my eyes without smearing make up, to sweat and not worry about what I now looked like or if the make up was running. To go places and not care what I looked like... To regain the comfort I had in my own skin, once before. To care for my face naturally.
Another thing I appreciated about this month... All the unwanted "cat-calling" faded.. People who wanted to talk to me, they didn't treat me like a piece of meat... They sought after the core of me, my spirit, who I was... And when they did, they found out I had a boyfriend, wasn't interest, but still had good qualities about me that made for good conversation, and could potentially lead to business relationships later in life.. It was refreshing. For that ALONE, I would quit wearing make-up forever.
When I first wrote my "No Make-Up Today" post, a lot of people offered to help me with my acne issues, so that I could still wear make-up. At first it was about that, but when I realized how uncomfortable I was without make-up, I realized it had to be something much bigger than that. To limit myself from having fun and going out because I wasn't all made up, that's insane. To feel uncomfortable walking into this world with my God-given face, that's crazy.. I'm regaining comfort of self, and that's what matters, physically and spiritually..
Now, I'm focused on health above appearance. I'm focused on comfort of self, over appearance. I don't give a shit about appearance beyond what I think looks good to me. And if I can't look at myself in the mirror and think, man, I am beautiful, then there's more work to be done internally... But for now, I feel pretty damn fly.
I keep thinking, "hmmmm maybe tomorrow, I'll put some make-up on to compare how I feel about it now", we'll see. Until then, I think my face will continue this vacation.