I recently read an essay by Alisha Keys on going make-up free on Lenny. Of course, I skimmed it at first, being teased with click-bait-y “See Alisha Keys WITHOUT makeup!” headline in my Facebook sidebar.
The fact that I should be more ashamed that I get my news from Facebook rather than how I look without make up on notwithstanding, I thought Alisha looked absolutely beautiful without a drop of foundation, or a set of false eyelashes, or a trace of Photoshop.
I’ve seen the #nomakeup hashtag over the years and I would like to know why this has become important to call out? Why is this an applaud-worthy move by notable women? Or good old-fashioned regular, everyday women like me?
Most of the women I know don’t wear make up with any regularity and I don’t believe in doing so that they are making some noble sacrifice. They are not taking risks. They are not simply back-to-the-earth women who eschew all manner of feminine accoutrements.
Why have we been taught to feel that leaving the house without foundation, powder, mascara, or a hint of pink on the cheeks and lips makes us somehow less female? When did it become normal to not just look how we actually look?
I’m not just some hey kid, get the hell off my lawn make up hater. Make up is fun. God knows I’ve dropped literally hundreds (probably closer to thousands) over the years at Clinique, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, MAC—you name it—all with the hope of looking prettier.
Looking prettier has deep roots inside of our collective female self-esteem. If we look prettier, we feel better, right? If we look prettier, we have more value. We are taken more seriously.
What about being smart? And competent? And creative? And responsible? And warm? And giving? And curious? These are traits that I would much rather have ascribed to me than simply pretty or really knows how to apply liquid eyeliner.
When Dan leaves the house to face the world each day, he does so with nothing other than his wry sense of humor and possibly some Chanel for Men cologne. Oh, and clothes. He has clothes on when he leaves the house.
I have clothes on, too. And like him, most often I leave to face the world (apparently bravely so) sans makeup.
I remember when I was little, watching my mom “put her face on” in the bathroom. I remember wondering what was wrong with the one she had.
Wondering what your thoughts are on this topic. I’m sure there are much more intelligent blog posts on this subject than this one, but I really love the idea the more and more women don’t feel the need to wear makeup. It’s a trend I personally welcome and pretty much embrace most days of the week.