make up.

I've never been totally sure of how I feel about make up. It seems to make me look better.  Though, who decided on that standard of "better", I'm not positive.  Even the name, 'make up'.  As in made-up?  Pardon me, but I don't want my face to be a work of fiction.  I don't want to spend my time masquerading.  I want people to be familiar with what I actually look like - the way my face actually is.  

I remember, in High School, there was a girl they called "base-face".  You're probably familiar with the term.  If you aren't, it means she wore a crap-ton of base (foundation) on her face.  Hence, base-face.  One day, she and her boyfriend broke up.  Oh, the tragedy.  She came to school the next day with swollen eyes and no make up, due to all of the crying she had been doing.  And you know what?  People made fun of that, too.  They were all whispering about how horrible she looked without make up and, oh my gosh, how could she leave the house like that and, oh my gosh, did she even look in the mirror?

And I thought, What the hell?  What do you want from this poor chick?  

And, as I'm now realizing, I think this is where my entire make up complex came from.

Is my face, the skin stretching over my bones, so offensive and unworthy of public exposure all on its own?  I mean, nobody looks at my husband and thinks, Man, he's looking haggard today, could use a little make up.  Of course not.  He's a man.  Men don't need make up.  What a silly thought.  What an absurd notion!  Ha.  And what if a man decides he likes make up?  I'm not trying to be a pretentious, gender-neutrality fanatic, really I'm not, but why does that seem so unnatural?  Isn't make up just as unnatural on a woman's face as it is on a man's?  I mean, it's basically treating your body as a coloring book.  And, okay, I'll admit, if Drew decided to put make up on, I'd probably feel weird about it.  And yet I refused to marry a man who wouldn't accept, nay, prefer me without it.  Does that make me a hypocrite?  Am I just thinking too hard about this?  

Yes.  I am.  It's just that I can't come to a conclusion.  I'll go weeks without make up, mostly because I'm lazy and value sleep above most anything.  But then, I'll suddenly get an urge to put on some mascara, slap on some lipstick, and, wow!  I almost forgot how fun this can be.  Because it can be.  Fun.  Almost a secret weapon, a way to further personalize how you present yourself to your own self and to the world.  When I think of it that way, it seems empowering.  But after a few days of wearing it, I start to hesitate at going out of the house without it.  Since when are me lips so ghostly pale?  Have my eye lashes always been so short and thin?  Consistently wearing make up seems to give me unrealistic expectations for my natural complexion.  It causes me to resent myself.  And at this point, make up starts to feel less like empowerment and more like imprisonment.

Maybe you don't know what I mean.  But maybe you do.  Tell me what you think.  No, really, what do you think?


  1. I do know what you mean. What you've said are thoughts I've had before and even discussed with Craig. We both find it odd that men can be filthy (in a matter of speaking), but women are expected to have their hair a certain way, wear certain clothing, make-up, etc.

    I guess the only difference is that is I feel better about myself when wearing makeup and this started after I had Smith. I used to never wear make up, but now, it's MY time when I put make up on (does that even make sense?). Dark circles, zits, scaring, and redness aren't my strong suit, so I just feel better when I can conceal all of it up and feel a little less like a frumpy mom.

  2. I've never given it much thought before but you've got some really cool points, and this made me think! Thank you!!! I like that you have phases, where you do wear makeup and where you don't... Like you said, I'm sure the transition of phases can sometimes be weird, feeling like you're being something or not, or then on the flip side, not feeling comfortable as what you already are.... but I think it's healthy to be reminded of how you feel as both "made up" and not.... Cool post Meg. &, I think you're a babe, both ways.

  3. Funny, I just wrote a post the other day that I haven't published yet about wearing/not wearing makeup. Love your post and points here.

  4. I think about this too. I don't wear makeup often for a lot of the same reasons as you (isn't my face good enough as-is?), and also because I'm lazy, but I really do love it like I love clothes. And I don't think it's vain, either, to love makeup or to love clothes. I think being able to curate a self-image is a really empowering, creative, (and FUN) thing.

    Like you said though, it's when I start to feel like I HAVE to wear makeup that it's not empowering anymore. Autonomy is king.

    Amen to your post.

  5. I feel the same lady!! I really think it is all personal preference, and that is all that should matter. Make-up is a personal choice whether you are a man or woman. I think it is something that should be completely gender neutral. I know men who wear make-up, and I don't see what is weird about it whatsoever. It is just a thing, make-up. Sometimes I feel like wearing it, and sometimes I don't. Makeup really can be soooo fun, but for me it isn't a necessity, and I don't think it should be for anyone. It's all about what each individual is comfortable with, and how they choose to express themselves.

  6. yes. this and the post about being beautiful on awashwithwonder.com decribe how i've been feeling lately.. how much of this is my own choice and is anything ever my choice? i don't feel comfortable going out without make up on, probably because i feel like i am not 'beautiful' enough without it and i fear opinions, yet i tell myself i do it for me. i want to be attractive, and i know that that means so much more than being beautiful and still.. i don't feel attractive when i'm not wearing make up. i don't know, contradictions.


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