Anyone out there remember caboodles? They were really popular when I was a kid, and one day a friend came to visit my house with hers. And, of course, it was full of cheap knockoff makeup. I think she bought it at Wal-Mart. I can’t remember. But because little girls were supposed to be into makeup, we went to town. Powder and blush and lipstick and all the trimmings. Naturally, the next day, my face was completely broken out. And that was my first experience with makeup.
My second experience wasn’t much better. I had been cast in a part for a church drama, and my mom and grandma insisted I needed to wear some makeup so the stage lights wouldn’t make me look like a zombie. And while that was good advice for stage performers, I didn’t like it. I sat on the toilet lid in Grandma’s old house, while they painted my face up. It felt like having plaster on my face.
I’ve worn makeup on several other occasions, but they usually have to be super special. Like when I’m in somebody’s wedding. A few years ago I left my makeup to the care of one of my little adopted sisters, and she attacked me with a mascara wand. That was painful. Nice, I suppose, because it looked so much better than if I’d tried to do it myself–but my eyes felt someone had covered them in Elmer’s glue and let it dry. I spent the majority of the wedding wanting to scratch my eyebrows off.
Is there really a problem with makeup?
Okay, so there’s nothing wrong with makeup. I just don’t like it. Face it, personal hygiene is enough of a struggle without the added complication of painting your eyebrows on or plucking your eyelashes out. And all those people who work in the cosmetic areas of department stores can sense it, because every time I have to walk through there, they come and find me! I usually have to duck and dodge and avoid eye contact, because their specially honed senses locate me, and alarms go off! Alert! Alert! She’s not even wearing foundation!
Some folks wear makeup because they have acne issues or skin conditions, and that’s fine. If makeup is your thing, that’s great. But what it’s become in our culture is this utter necessity that girls think they need because they truly believe they’re ugly. And the truth is, I’ve never met a woman or a girl who needed makeup. Not a single one. And I’m not being facetious.
I don’t like it when people cover their faces up. It feels like hiding because you’re ashamed of something. You think because your eyelashes are too pale or your eyelids aren’t pronounced or your lips are too small or your skin is too bad that you need to paint yourself up with makeup so people won’t think you look funny. And I guess that’s fine. But you do know that having pale eyelashes and small lips or freckles and moles wasn’t an accident? Right? And God sure didn’t make it happen to make you miserable.
What is perfect anyway?
I saw this really hilarious blog post with these real women who tried to reproduce the Victoria Secret swimming suit look (there’s a bit of language in it, fyi), and of course they completely failed. But that’s because most magazine models aren’t actually real anyway. They’re so touched up that they couldn’t possibly exist in real life.
The idea of perfection and beauty changes with every era, almost with every generation. So we really should be focusing on something else other than what we look like on the outside.
I read a book some time ago about how to make yourself look really nice when you’re picking out clothing, and while I understand the concept behind the book, I didn’t really agree with half of what it was talking about. Now I don’t think we should look sloppy. Heavens, no. But, oh my goodness, focusing so much on what I look like as to ask myself my body shape and my skin color and my best colors and what type of foundation I need and how many accessories I should choose and whether or not my hat goes with my belt and my skirt and my shoes and my purse–Good grief! That’s not for me.
Some people have even hinted that the reason I’m still single is because I don’t take greater care in the way I look. And quite frankly, friends, if the reason I’m still single is because I don’t accessorize or wear make up, I don’t need to get married. Anyone whose sole attraction to me is the color of my shoes or the shade of my lipstick is going to be in for a heck of surprise when they get to know the real me–the loud, stubborn, geeky, awkward, coffee-loving me. I’d much rather represent the person I actually am inside by what I wear than going out of my way to craft an image of somebody else.
So unless it’s a super-duper special occasion, you aren’t going to see me in makeup. Would I like to be thinner? Sure! Would I like about three fewer chins? Absolutely! But God made me exactly the way He wants me, with my hammer toes and my stubby fingers and my short little legs. And you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.
So I’ll just keep ducking and dodging in the cosmetic section of department stores, and if you ever see me there, just imagine the Mission: Impossible theme playing in the background. It’ll make more sense then.