25 Jan 12 Au Naturel

I was listening to the radio today and an interesting topic came up; so interesting, in fact, that I tried to call in. I was not able to get through, but I decided it was a topic that I wanted to express my thoughts on, so here goes: Makeup.

The conversation was how women who do not wear makeup are treated differently than those who do wear makeup. For those who know me, it will come as no surprise that I am speaking about this. See, I am allergic to makeup, all of it. I cannot wear it except for short times (like 3-4 hours tops), once in a blue moon. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I have worn makeup in the last year.

I will admit, I do get treated differently by society at large. I have some friends who try to encourage me to wear makeup more because I “look so pretty with my face made up.” I do not take this as a slam. I appreciate they want me to look pretty, but they do not understand the major itching and rash that ensues when I do.

I fix my hair; I try to dress nicely (but without a good sense of style, often fall short), wear jewelry, and wear perfume. It’s not like I rolled out of bed and walked out the door.

I remember one time I was returning from a trip out of the country. I was in a large airport (O’Hare, I think), and on my last leg of my journey. As I waited, I sat across the aisle from a business gentleman from Mexico. We chatted for a bit, and when the lull in the conversation occurred, he read his paper, and I decided to put on some make up for a special treat to greet my husband who would be picking me up on the other end.

After I finished, and was just sitting there, the Mexican gentleman, went to turn his paper, and startled.

“Wow!” he proclaimed. “What a difference!”

All I could do was agree and laugh. It’s true, we do look much different out of makeup than we do in makeup. That being said, this gentleman, although acknowledging the difference, did not treat me any differently before the transformation than he did after.

We as women are made to be too conscious of how we look without make up, as if we are suddenly NOT pretty. I know most women are embarrassed or ashamed to be seen without make up, and their behavior mimics that attitude.

I have no trouble looking others in the eye, or starting conversations in public, with perfect strangers. I have also found that many men (many more so than women) who appreciate that I am “brave” enough to go without make up, and they actually think I look prettier for it, and not made up “like a clown, caked in makeup.”

I find that it kind of falls under the misconception of what body type is beautiful as well. We are falsely led to believe we should be thinner that what people really think is pretty, and by the same token, we are told we should have make up on or we are not pretty.

The difference is when someone meets us for the first time, if we do not have make up on, they are more accepting of our appearance as opposed to someone who is used to us being in makeup and then seeing us on an odd day without. When that happens others think we are ill, having a bad day, or that something is wrong.

I spend much time explaining that I cannot wear makeup, but I do not feel as if I am defending my appearance. I am who I am, inside and out. I am outgoing, outspoken, friendly, and helpful.

I am also makeup free.

 

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2 Comments

  1. jaxberry

    I guess I’m just weird like this, I don’t notice much a difference a lot of the time when women wear make up. I mean my whole life particularly in high school and college I’ll tell a woman that they look nice today and they’ll start going on about how no they don’t and they aren’t wearing make up. I just, I guess it’s just me I don’t really tend to notice a difference.

    • There are more men than you would think who are that way. WHich I am grateful for!

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