So what is the middle ground then? I don’t know, just like I don’t know the answers to most of life’s questions due to the availability of only my brain and my perspective to me. I do know that I grew up in a household where my mother washes her face twice a day, puts on some cream afterwards, and then maybe some talcum powder ( it’s an Indian thing). She has not had any skin issues with acne etc and neither have I, except for the one that pops up once in 6 months on the very tip of my nose, as if to say, ” Miss me?”.
I realize that may just be blessed genes, but my mom looks like she’s in her 30’s ( people have mistaken her for this age range repeatedly) or maximum 40’s, when she’s actually crossed 50. I value the beauty of aging gracefully, like my mom, and so for me, makeup is absolutely unnecessary for daily use. I might do my eyes for a wedding party or Christmas or Easter but that’s about it for me.
My mother always says, less is better. She meant the less you fuss with the outside and just eat healthy so your body is getting everything it needs, that’s enough. No amount of fussing is going to change your genes so just stop. I honestly think its gross when people put on makeup over acne or pick at it because, you’re making it worse and insinuating the bacteria to continue infecting and keep going.
Also if you are going to go with products, go natural because there’s a way less chance of it harming you in the long run. If its herbal, you know it won’t harm as much as a brand new chemical introduced into a formula, a chemical that probably wasn’t even studied long enough before it was put into something. I mean, you do realize that even with medicines, and the extensive amount of studying they go through, we still can’t predict some of the long term effects they show and are sometimes just hoping for the best. Besides, all this foundation and concealing is tugging at your skin and making it looser and darker and more prone to wrinkling and then we put on more and tug more to cover that..its an unending cycle of dissatisfaction.
|Yes, indeed. The terrible darkness, so dark, it was sucking in my soul. Really, I’m glad you made it stop|
|“Do you see these terrible dark circles?! No? Huh. “|
Lastly, understand that you can be beautiful without makeup on (yes, even mascara). How do I know? I grew up in the Indian community where probably only one mother for every 30 who knows how to put foundation on, and if maybe 2 others use makeup, its plain ol’ lipstick and the rest will probably only apply kajal and talcum powder, at the most. In such a community, I have seen beautiful women. I kid you not, my mother glows after working in the garden for an hour, I wish I knew the secret to that!
“What? No, this girl was telling me I should invest in some lipstick. I told her to buy some fish or get lost. I got mouths to feed at home!”
Speaking of working in the garden, since when did we start saying ‘Ew! armpit sweat’? Its a natural bodily process of getting rid of toxins, if you don’t sweat it out, you’re gonna retain those toxins and make your body more vulnerable to infections and cause other downstream affects. So just stop. Because you see, I was not aware you were from a magical kingdom where people never sweat. Tell me, princess, do they not pee, poop and fart in your kingdom as well? Oh, they do? Well then why would make such an ignorant and superficial statement? Oh you were just projecting your insecurities onto someone else? Well, that seems very healthy.
|Bet you’re not so grossed out by it now, are you little girl? Funny how that happens.|
Back to the point, I grew up in an all girls school in Saudi where no-one wore anything more than again, talcum powder or kajal (because our school didn’t even allow us to put on nail polish but powder and kajal are like sacred Indian tradition, you don’t mess with that ish) and I saw beautiful girls, much more beautiful than the 10 and 12yr olds I see with fluorescent pink lip gloss and making YouTube videos that my 4 year old cousin watches eagerly (smh) and I fear for her, I really do.
|Dear God, why? Why?!|
Yes growing up then, some of us had uni brows, most had faint upper lip hair or arm hair but we were free, we didn’t have to think about beauty obsessively because we had no time, we had a ‘lock and key’ game on in 2 minutes!
I still think India has a more realistic idea of beauty because most Indian women still stand defiant to beauty obsession because most women have other, more important responsibilities to take care of. I do see the beauty obsession slowly creeping in through the westernization of Indian movies though and it worries me.
|This is why I love the sari. Who needs a BMI index when a piece of cloth will tell you immediately is you’re at a healthy weight or not. Because, to look good in a sari, you gotta be normal-curvy and nothing less.|
So just do me a solid, and don’t be like Jenna from 30 Rock who chooses Madonna over Meryl Streep (I’d offer Helen Mirren too). No matter how much makeup you pile on, you know that at the end of the night, when you take it all off and lie in bed, you know that is the real you, and you know the one who loves that you, is the one who really loves you.
|“What, this ol’ thing? It’s called nature’s gift baby!”|
So if makeup is an escape for you, then I think you should think it over, because here in real life, you can’t run from things, no matter how hard you try. No matter how much you distance yourself from who you are, you’ll still find yourself awake one night and realize, there you are, still there, You ( I know someone has said this better than me, but I can’t figure out who). The way to deal with fears is to face them head on and walk through them, to the other side.
In ending, I should clarify, I’m not trying to fight the idea of wearing makeup because you want to, or for the heck of it. I’m trying to rebut the idea that makeup is a ‘necessity’ or something that’s alright to become dependent on. I totally understand seeing makeup as an accessory, a way to have fun or add some color to your outfit etc. I think when it crosses the line and becomes something you are dependent on, something you can’t go out without having on, something you’d be horrified to have to go in public without, then that means somewhere along the line, it became a mask, a crutch or maybe even an ‘addiction’ of sorts. That something that was once liberating and an expression and extension of you, has now morphed into a box that is the only definition of your face and your beauty.
I know this idea of finding the real you and finding freedom and happiness gets thrown around a lot in our world today but I think its time we really step back and examine if when the world tells us to wear makeup ‘because we’re worth it’, isn’t it really telling us you’re not worth ‘it’ because you need to cover up that imperfect mug with their makeup?
No, I say, show the world your freckles and moles; reclaim your scars as ‘battle scars’, your own physical timeline of your life and its wounds and victories and stories. Show the world the best you, which is the real you, battle scars and all because you know what? You’re beautiful and worth loving the way you are, and worth being proud of and cherished, and worth your weight in gold, and you will be missed if you weren’t in this world tomorrow.
Yes, show the world why you are a uniquely wonderful creation, a product of generations of cultures, beauty and history, and while encompassing all of that, you are still different and individual in the story you tell and the love you give to the world. The world still needs you to stand up for your beliefs and needs you to keep passing on that love and stand strong until the world finally listens and learns, because guess what? You are really worth being seen, being listened to, being loved- for who you really are, and not for anything less.