In today’s society, there is an overwhelming pressure on women to always look radiant, glowy and youthful, no matter the circumstances. Undereye circles, spots or even a round face shape get frowned upon; we are expected to conceal, contour and powder wherever we can. Of course, most of us also do it because we like it; we like to play with makeup, try new looks, be creative and expressive, and use it as an outer extension of our inner selves rather than something we are expected to do.
But I, as I’m sure many of my fellow ladies out there, have worn makeup on multiple occasions in the past for no reason other than thinking, “I can’t go out in public like this.” Tired eyes, redness and impurities would make me feel gross and unattractive, not to mention vulnerable.
Just the other day, I had a dentist appointment which I knew was going to be unpleasant and all I would want to do afterwards is crawl into bed, so I decided not to wear makeup. The night before, I got a spot. In the middle of my forehead. As I was staring at the red dot on my shiny skin, I thought to myself, “I can either wear makeup tomorrow, or I’m going to have to apologise for this.”
However, by apologising for not wearing makeup or for not covering up imperfections, we are supporting society’s expectations of women having to look picture perfect all the time; we are obeying them. “Excuse my face”, “sorry about this spot here” or any similar utterances turn people’s attention to aspects which otherwise they might not even have noticed, and it activates that specific social construct in their minds, too. Subconsciously, we feel inferior; we have pointed our flaws out, we have somewhat opened up to the other person and they might perceive us as more self-conscious than we actually are or want to come across.
I refuse to apologise for having imperfect skin anymore. I have dark circles under my eyes (no matter how much water I drink), I have redness around my nose (especially in the colder months), I get the occasional spot (most probably once a month). And that’s okay. By not pointing these out anymore, I let them be normal, and not something I need to specifically address.
We shave, exfoliate, moisturise, fake tan, pluck, pick and paint – let’s give ourselves a break every once in a while, shall we?
’til next time x