Mrs. Frugalwoods from my favorite blog Frugalwoods wrote a great post about wearing less makeup and getting more confidence. I think this is such an important topic and I have gone down the same road as Mrs. Frugalwoods and almost stopped wearing makeup all together.
It’s frightening how much media is centered around the outer apperances of women. We are being told from a very young age what we’re supposed to look like. There are constant ads bombarding us with products or tips on how to have flawless skin, long eye lashes, red and plump lips, long white nails, no bodily hair, no wrinkles, soft and glowing hair of certain colors, white and straight teeth, red cheeks, the perfect tan and smell sweet. The worst part is that most of the products sell us the idea of “natural” beauty by altering ourselves which isn’t actually natural at all. I looked up the meaning of the word natural:
existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind
So according to this definition natural should be our true form without alteration. The problem with being truly natural is that it is completely taboo in todays society. We should in no way show any trace of the fact that we all are animals. Society does not accept any imperfections, no sweating, nothing related to our bowel movements, no hair in certain places, no spots, no natural scent, no blushing skin or hair sebum. I am not saying that everyone should stop showering but rather just to be more open and accepting of yourself and how you naturally look so that you don’t fall into the consumeristic way of looking at yourself. Because to keep all of things mentioned above in check and to enhance our “natural” look we are sold countless products that are supposed to fix us. Many of these have a negative impact on both the environment and our health (see mini documentary: the Story of Cosmetics and read more in Bathroom & Cleaning section). But more than that, all of these products tell young girls that you aren’t pretty enough the way you are and that you need to do x, y, z so that you can look a certain way to be liked, loved and fit in.
I haven’t worn that much makeup growing up. Mostly because I have always had quite clear skin and didn’t feel the need to cover my face with foundation and powder to conceal spots. I also couldn’t really be bothered to put on lots makeup (read I was too lazy to wash it off every night) except for special occasions. Instead I fell into my makeup phase when I started to work. As a young woman at my first work place I wanted to be taken professionally and not be seen as a little girl which in my mind translated to wearing more makeup. During this phase I couldn’t imagine going to work without powder, eyeshadow, rouge, eyeliner and mascara, what would people think if they saw a pimple?! How could they take me seriously?
I have also stuggled with other outer appearences over the years. Since I have very wavy/curly hair I of course wanted straight hair and spent a fair amount of time in my gymnasium years (high school) trying to control my hair with straighteners, different products for frizzy hair and brushing it fervently. I am also blond which means that my roots grow out darker in winter (which I obviously couldn’t walk around with) and I have therefore dyed my hair every winter. Like most Swedes I’ve obsessed about being tanned because we are pale most of the year. But finally I have just said no. Like Mrs Frugalwoods states in her post:
I say we collectively screw it and ask the question, “what’s wrong with how we look naturally?!” And the answer is, absolutely nothing.
It has taken some time to work around my anxieties/fixations but these are the things I have finally embraced:
- One of the earliest posts on this blog is about how I embraced my hair and stopped fighting the curls.
- I have given up chasing a tan and embraced my paleness (since I live in Sweden anything else is ridiculous) and focusing on the importance of getting enough vitamin D made by the sun hitting my skin when I am outside (with the side effect of getting a slight tan).
- I have stopped dying my hair and embraced my darker blond hair during winter
- I now only wear mascara to work and have embraced my face without layers of makeup
- I have realized how strong perfume is so I have embraced my natural (showered!) scent and stopped wearing perfume
This has lead me to minimize the amount of hygeine and cosmetics products that I use saving the environment, my health and money at the same time (read my post about my beauty habits here). And it feels so freeing! I am a lot more confident and actually don’t really care what people think because I am living according to my values and beliefs and no one elses.