This topic is something that has just literally flown into my mind this afternoon, strangely I have just been writing another post but I am side tracked by this idea – so, into draft that other posts goes!
Honestly, I am surprised I haven’t even written about this before. So here we go! I am excited to write to you all about this. Don’t forget to go grab a cuppa with a snack and read on!
When I was in school, I had a terrible bullying experience (I have written about this in my post “School Bullying, Let’s Talk About It”) and I found that when I found the strength and confidence that make-up gave me, things started to lift for me.
I remember in my junior years at school I had an acquaintance that would, I guess, get inspired by my features that were hidden by adolescent breakouts and thought of me as a project with her make-up bag. She would literally spend entire lunch breaks doing my make-up for me with what she had. In no way were we the same skin tone or anything – but when you are young, what even is a skin tone? What is ‘less’ make-up? She would go to town on my skin and layer that foundation on, no damns were given on those lunch breaks.
The point I am getting at is that I remember my school lessons after lunch breaks, people would talk to me! I remember one guy in my class saying “You look different. You look good.” and that for me, made me blush profusely and it stuck with me. After those experiences, the lunch times that the acquaintance (we literally never hung out unless she was doing my make-up, maybe I should start calling her my own personal make-up artist? Who knows. I wonder how she’s doing now. Thank you, acquaintance) didn’t do my make-up, I was disappointed. I wanted to be beautiful, I wanted people to talk to me.
I will never forget the day that in my music lesson all the girls in my class were comparing eyebrows, and at this age the girls already were plucking their eyebrows! I was 12 years old just going onto 13 years old, I didn’t even know eyebrows were a problem. They all were astounded that I had natural eyebrows, by astounded I think grossed out would be a better way to put it. As soon as I got home, I begged my mum to pluck my eyebrows for me. I didn’t care for how she did them, I just wanted them plucked for school the next day – screw a salon, I needed it done asap. At this stage, I also wanted to wear black nail polish – I was setting myself up to be hip. It was all the rage.
Anyway, moving onto 13 years old – my mum felt for me and purchased me make-up. I never went crazy until I hit 16-17 years old (Those drawn on eyebrows, oh girl, it’s become a family joke. My parents and I walked into a shopping centre once and on the stores surveillance camera all you could see were two thick black pixels across my face – I was learning! Shh), but when I started to gain experience with what I was doing, I felt amazing. I remember watching YouTube videos from as soon as I got home until I went to bed on make-up, I wanted to learn to do it right. My mum has never been into the depths of make-up or whatever, she is definitely where I get my edge and my fun from, however I taught myself how to do my make-up from scratch and I watched so many tutorials and I got my skill all by myself. It’s a thing that I am proud about, when people compliment my make-up, damn it feels fantastic.
The trouble with the confidence that make-up gives you is how long it took me to feel confident around people without it. I remember during school holidays or on weekends, I couldn’t leave the house unless I had my make-up on. I refused to leave to get the school bus if I wasn’t finished, I would literally walk to school – as long as my make-up was good. I was no one without my make-up. My parents would ask if I wanted to go with them to the local shop, I would say yes, but they would always ask me at least an hour in advance to give me time. It was just my thing. It would upset me if people would question why I always wore make-up, it would be the rudest thing that you could ever say to me. Literally. I remember a boyfriend I had during school said that I should wear less make-up, I broke up with him from that comment – seriously. When I hit 18 years old, I would go out to my old friends and we would go bar hopping and do usual drinking things – but I would sleep in my make-up, she would take hers off but nope I set that face with setting spray it wasn’t coming off for anyone! I was confident and comfortable in my make-up.
Somehow, it has just naturally happened now. I am entirely comfortable with myself, I can leave the house without make-up and I feel fine, sure I don’t feel as on fleek as I usually do with make-up on but that is like saying how you don’t feel as good when you leave the house in a t-shirt rather than a nice button up, like, you can’t compare the two. It’s just how it is.
What I am trying to say is, when people constantly judge those who wear make-up, woman or man, it isn’t your business. If it helps them feel confident and feel like they can take on the day, that isn’t your place to go pointing your fingers down at them. Let them be. You don’t need to tell them to not wear make-up, or say that they don’t need it, they will not wear it around you when they are ready. It happens naturally, you can’t force a person to “be themselves”, because honestly – make-up provides such a confidence boost that that’s their personality, that is them, with make-up on. When you take that away, you retreat in your shell a bit and you aren’t really seeing them. It comes down to comfort and confidence.
Make-up truly helped me get through my entire adolescence, I really do believe that. I would have had a harder time than I did if I wasn’t superficially appealing. It’s sad but it’s true, society casts their judgement based on appearance or social status – I didn’t have any social status, I needed something going for me.
I remember it being such a controversial situation with people, somehow me wearing make-up was such a problem for people! If I was wearing too much, not taking it off myself when they wanted, or not wearing it at all and not being “pretty” – honestly! You can never win with people. You can’t aim to please everyone, there will always be someone who has something to say. It all comes down to when you are ready, when you are comfortable and when it is your decision.
It’s the people that try to take that away from you that truly concern me, let people be themselves and express themselves however they want – if it makes them feel good and be confident, who are you to judge?