I don't know if there was ever a time when women didn't wear or rely on make-up to 'empower' themselves. I also don't know if there was ever a time when women weren't told to cover their faces with cosmetics because it made them more beautiful and would enable them to be accepted by everyone.
Breaking what seems to be a habit of an eternity isn't easy and isn't readily supported by many of us. I find it absolutely fascinating that a lot of women, though not all, rely on their make-up, myself included, to bring them confidence and peace of mind over their appearance. Some say it's an expression of art and creativity, whilst others admit to it being their main source of confidence and that they couldn't live without it.
I myself am totally guilty of relying on a daily application of make-up to boost my confidence, hide my imperfections and create a fresh faced look that allows me to appear much more healthy and pretty to others around me and to feel better about myself.
I have felt the need for it throughout the years and often wondered why. Why was I was feeling pressured into wearing it, considering my own mother doesn't wear it at all? Perhaps society was to blame, the practise of it from friends and other family members, or the amazing marketing these cosmetics companies created in their TV advertisements? I'm still not so sure why, or if it was a combination of all these things but I knew that as much as I physically loved make-up products, half of me was being manipulated into thinking I needed it because of my skin problems.
Over the past year or so I have challenged myself to go barefaced every now and then, at least once a week in public, no matter how angry my skin was looking or how badly broken out with acne I was because I realised just how unhealthy it was to think I needed make-up to have confidence in my appearance.
Something I've learnt throughout this journey was that nobody cared that I wasn't wearing a face full of make-up, nobody treated me differently and I still got a few smiles, compliments and people still treated me like ME! I was the only person feeling insecure, unpretty and completely saturated with self-pity in my appearance.
It took me a while to make direct eye contact with people without my ususal layering of make-up but only on my lowest of days and other than that I felt much happier just looking like myself, dark eye circles, stick straight lashes and red marked from old breakouts. I could touch my face, rub my eyes and the lazy side of me enjoyed not having to complete the boring task of removing it all every single night.
Whilst I still don't feel 100% happy without make-up, I appreciate what's underneath it all a lot more and I know that nobody really cares what I look like. People are too busy with their lives to be bothered with your appearance and it's only very rarely that you will meet someone who just has to be rude and insult you, though it shouldn't happen in today's world. It's all about how you feel about yourself and what you want to look like.
Magazines, TV, YouTube and social media all promote the use of make-up to women. We can't escape it, it's literally everywhere and with all these crazy trends, people are going to the extremes to feel better about themselves, as well as for acceptance of the world, validation and confidence. It's absolute madness when you really think about it, so why can't we be without it? Why do we still rely on it and will there ever be a time when women say no?
I absolutely love make-up and I love the way it allows me to create any type of look I want. But am I using it for the right reasons and are you? I am not here to judge but to share my thoughts and hear yours because this is something that affects all of us and whether or not we use it for confidence isn't really anyone's business but it's kind of scary to hear what we all think of ourselves without it.
I am completely aware of the reasons people wear make-up and do feel the need to have it. Some of us aren't blessed with bushy brows, high cheek bones, sleep, or clear skin and with important events where making a great first impression is crucial, aka job interview; make-up really is a great tool to use. But does the world really care what you look like shopping in your local tesco store, grabbing a coffee in starbucks, or picking up the kids from school? I don't think so, do you?
So does that mean a balance should be struck up and instead of us dousing ourselves in cosmetics, simply use it to our advantage when we need it most, rather than it being a daily ritual for confidence? It is a personal choice but is one that I've decided to use as my accessory to life rather than my sole dependant of confidence. It's truly something I have to work on everyday and although I'm getting better at it, work life doesn't make it any easier, nor does suffering with insomnia or lack of natural flush to my cheeks. Sometimes I feel I really need it and others I force myself to be as I am and I always feel much better about myself in the end.
Stick straight lashes, dry skin, oily skin, spots, eczema, pigmentation, wrinkles, scars, large pores and other things that people classify as 'ugly' or 'undesirable' don't have experience of the real world. Why can't we be imperfect, scarred and different to the airbrushed covers of magazines? Why do we have to use make-up to be accepted and can we all get to a place of self-confidence without it? I sure hope so, not just for myself but for all the younger generations out there and those who still struggle with it in their 50's and upwards.
Could you survive without your make-up? What makes you feel the need to apply it and do you feel that our media has manipulated women into this way of thinking? Let me know in the comments below as I would love to hear your opinion. Make-up is a very touchy subject, especially when women are so low in confidence or suffer with skin issues. I really hope you enjoyed today's post and I wish you all a barefaced, super confident day!