Stripping Away The Beauty Armor
Detaching and analyzing the past ways of the beauty regime
Makeup is like war paint, clothing is like armor. Those are just things we put on our body to decorate ourselves. They do serve a purpose for expressing personality and boosting self-esteem when used in an non-obsessive way. But they do not define women (men and non-binary too, I don't want to leave anyone out).
In my twenties, I’ve had to learn I don’t have to be polished. I won't look like the women I see in media or compare myself to the women around me. It's best to accept what I look like underneath it all. and I have to like myself when I don't have cosmetics or fashions on.
Now before I get into this, I do have to address that this isn't an anti-makeup or anti-fashion article. I love finding styles t o test and I'm always up to learn how to excel at makeup techniques. But having these beauty routines and heightened fashion, it gets hard to detach from having a day to not have the dolled up hair and makeup. Having cosmetics or fashion to show our identity or expanding styles is great. But at the end of the day, the makeup and fashion, it's just a cover.
Underneath my cover of cosmetics and fashions is someone I can see the same way as I did with makeup on. I had to have the same love that I had for the polished Sami and balance that out to love the same Sami that doesn't have the makeup. Because at the end of the day, I'm still Sami, makeup or no makeup. Just like you fellow reader, you are who you are in any way you choose as long as you are comfortable in your own skin.
Not A Perfect Girl, Not A Perfect Woman
I am by no means a perfect woman: I have cyst scars on my ass, I have tiger stripes on my thighs. I have a permanent self harm scar on my index finger, I have stringy hair that can outdo the scarecrows hay, I have lopsided breasts, and I have body rolls on my stomach. Those are all things that make me imperfect but they make me uniquely imperfect. They are blemishes on my body that I’ve learned to be apart of my body, I embraced this idea to be accepting that my body is different then others, there is no need to have my body be like someone else's. There is always room for improvement, but I can do at my own pace with correct learning and care without a taxing obsession to get there.
When I was younger, I didn't have a problem with the way I looked, (well most of the time, as a teenage girl, it was mandatory to feel mopey about my face and body). I didn't feel I needed to start the cosmetic process until I wanted to do to for myself, I didn't do it from peer pressure as much as I was told I needed to start that process. I wanted to do it for myself.
I remember the day my life changed to have makeup apart of my grooming habits. I decided to do something fun on a Friday back in my eighth grade days, I asked my mom to do my makeup. She obliged, happy to do it, so I could learn from her. She set aside the time that morning to go through every makeup product and tell me what it was for. For the entirety of the makeup application, she kept it simple, she did the same makeup regime to her face that she did to my face. Cobalt blue eyeliner on my waterline, taupe lipstick on my lips, sparse foundation to brighten my skin without looking caked on. To my surprise, I did get the influx of compliments about how I looked really pretty with make up on. The comments never mentioned that I looked better with make up, or saying I was not good looking before I had makeup on my face. But people didn’t have to tell me that I needed to keep wearing make up, because my own self-scrutiny mindset did that for me. I had a warped perception that I constantly needed make up on my face.
Picture it- me- tenth grade, freshly straightened hair, every product of makeup on my face in the placement as taught by beauty gurus. Eye primer, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, liquid foundation, powder foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, lipstick and lip gloss. I had to maintain that image, I couldn’t leave the house until I had makeup on my face and my hair was perfect. My alarm would be set for 5:30 in the morning just do get what I needed on my face, do my hair, and be sure I had the best outfit ensemble. I did that for the entirety of my time in high school to achieve that look to put in the public. My mindset had to have that outer presentation to perfection, otherwise I couldn’t feel complete without it.
In my adulthood, my perception of my presentation of my appearances only got worse for myself as I had to have this polished touch to present myself. I wanted my hair to be perfectly tousled in waves with no pieces that were straightened out. It would wrack my head with the constant thoughts of discomfort when I would turn side to side and found me side of my hair wasn’t like the other. If I found my makeup wasn’t blended on the right eye like the left eye, I felt incomplete and unpresentable. Back then it’s hard to think that one little thing would bother me, and I let my anxiety for my presentation get the best of me. Even though there is nothing wrong with having imperfect makeup, hair that isn’t exactly as seen on the cover of the hair styling tool boxes. I completely thought that I was going to be nitpicked on imperfection.
Stopping The Self Scrutiny
Before I go back on topic , I want to take the time to go into the pre-set negative pattern perception of beauty.
I had to think on how many negative situations I've been in where someone told me how imperfect my hair, makeup, and outfit was. There were only a few negative instances to think of and the rest for the past eleven years has been positive comments. It finally dawned on me, is anyone really going to see or say what I am nitpicking onto myself? I prepared for negative scenarios that were never going to happen and if they did, I shouldn't care.
It’s not good to go through daily life, when you think that your appearance is constantly going to be mocked. Because we do unfortunately live in a society where there is a projection about how we are supposed to be pretty. There is a certain way that’s projected onto young women or young men (non-binary too) that they have to be a certain way and they’ll be accepted in society which is not true and it’s such a toxic and controlling thing to do to someone’s appearances, not make them want to be the way they want to present themselves.
All of the advertisements we see in shaving commercials, models on TV, actresses, or even the various women seen in daily life. There’s a yearn to want to be like the person that we see, to be that desired appearance because it's appealing. It does take a toll on the brain, as mentioned, I went through my teens constantly feeling I wasn't doing enough to be pretty. I had to maintain the makeup and make sure I had a good outfit to go with it. I could have enjoyed my teenage years if I wasn't hellbent on that obsessive level of perfectionist beauty, and not being comfortable in my own skin. I felt I had to take my fashion to such a prominent level so I could be taken seriously and also taken to be attractive.
Having Better Bare Faced Days (And Functional Practical Patient Fashion)
It put such a warp on my brain that it actually took the past couple years to unlearn all of those habits and then re-learn how I want to present myself and be comfortable with who I am and find my own stylish identity. I don’t have to have make up on my face at all time to be attractive, I won't have to wear a perfect outfit every time and I can just enjoy being casual and know that people are not going to judge my appearances as to why I don't be the exact polished and posh woman. I still am, I'm just enjoying a t-shirt and jeans day.
We are in a changing world that has acclimated fashions and cosmetics to different trends. But the trend of natural and casual is treated as important like the other high fashions. Now there isn't a scrutiny to be styled at all times. Natural faces are being embraced and casual fashions are being sported.
It’s not worth the time to fret over follicles and not like the makeup regime. We only see these flaws. I’ve had friends that tell me what they don’t like about themselves and it’s something I don’t notice on them at all, even when they point it out to me I still never focus on that after it’s mentioned because I don’t focus on the flaws of my friends.
Beauty has different ways: messy, precise, natural.
Being selective of your beauty armor
By all means, be comfortable with your natural beauty and your fashion choices. If you need a spackle of makeup or a couple of curls in your hair, go for it. If you like putting on some favorite pieces of an outfit to boost the confidence, strut it and own it.
But don't put yourself in a state of self scrutiny or severe analysis of the appearances every time you leave the house, so that way you can be comfortable with a calm and collected, accepted perception of yourself.
But to do that you’re gonna have to accept that if something messes up on the make up or there’s a hair out of place then it just needs to be accepted. Life is way too short to go about the day and be panicking and fretting over one part of your body when the rest of it is great.
One thing that has helped me to not fret over my hair or makeup is just accepting that it’s just gonna be a day that my hair won’t be perfect, this picture your about to see is an example of how I've grown to be comfortable with accepting it.
Look at this picture, I curled the ends of my hair-
My term for that is I would call that “deflating”, when the hair is falling out of the curl. Some of those straight pieces used to bother the hell out of me because I wanted all my hair to be equally curled. Waaaay too much of my time would be wasted paying attention. But you might be thinking, "Then why are YOU pointing it out?" I took this picture to show how comfortable I am to be in public with the hair that isn't perfect.
I left the house that morning and accepted that if my hair fell out of the curls, so be it. There will be another day when I can actually have my hair the way I want it but having perfectly curled hair, it does not make me any less pretty or attractive. It’s only something that I’m going to notice and no one else is really going to pay attention to that because I don’t really pay attention to any other women’s hair and find the fault.
I end up making the pact that once I’m out of the house, if the hair isn’t perfect - oh well. The eyeliner wings look crooked- deal with it.
In my relationship with make up there are times that I do like how my make up tactics can make some elaborate and eloquent looks to my face. But make up can be something that can really destroy your face by the constant application of it. I didn’t really do a good job taking care of myself when I was younger, I never took the time to take care of my skin until I was older. Skin care is more then just having a clear complexion, it helps the psyche with the motions of self-care. The more you take care of your skin, the better you feel.
The hair needs to be healed from all the hot tools and products. Best to let the hair tend to mend.
Take the time to appreciate the face, really take a look at your face and see what you have. I looked at my face and saw I had natural shadows on my eyes that I never noticed. I saw I had a good jawline that didn't need contouring.
By not going through make up for a couple of days, letting my skin breathe, I feel better of the times that I actually want to put make up on my face. It’s something that I want to do it for myself, not because society or people tell me to do so. After years of being told what I’m supposed to wear and how I’m supposed to be presented, It completely deprived me of enjoying fashion and make up and now when I can make my own schedule for primping then I can actually enjoy putting makeup on my face again and getting into a certain favorite outfit.
Not having makeup, dolling my hair up, or having a posh outfit on, it doesn’t make me any less then the Sam I Am. Yes I went with the Green, Eggs, and Ham joke, it had to happen.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece about the healthy habits for the mind in beauty routines. If you would be so kind as to leave a tiny tip for my hard work, I'd appreciate that!
Take care of yourself and continue to move forward~