Dear Makeup,

We've known each other for a long time, but we need to talk about our relationship. There's no denying we've both felt a change over the past year, and it's something we need to talk about.

I remember when we first met. Although I had heard your name, I never really knew you. That fateful day we finally met, I was thirteen years old and ready to look like an adult. I was sick of hiding behind my glasses like I had been doing, so instead, I started to hide behind you.

We would meet every morning, bright and early before my school bus arrived. I spent our time critically touching up all my imperfections, as I gradually learned to hate the way I naturally looked, from the dark circles under my eyes to the smallest pimples. Through the middle and high school years, we continued to grow as I tried new products to hide behind. I told myself that by wearing you, I looked closer to the perfection I craved. If nothing else, I could at least blend in, looking like the other girls I went to school with. Putting you on became a crucial part of my daily routine for years, to the point where I grew so accustomed to having you that I was uncomfortable without you.

We remained close until college. From my first days on campus, I could see that everyone had their own style. While there were still girls sporting the perfect cat eye with carefully styled eyebrows, there were other girls who didn't wear anything at all. These college girls were beautiful because they were just themselves. They were comfortable dressing up, but equally as confident on days when they chose to wear sweats and glasses. This realization changed the way I looked at myself entirely.

This is why we grew apart. Looking at these other girls, I realized I used you not to accentuate the features I loved, but to hide a face I drove myself to dislike. By staring at myself covering my imperfections every morning, I wasn't making myself feel better about the way I looked. Instead, I made a habit of not accepting my body and used you in the hopes that my peers wouldn't see through my thin layer of foundation to my obvious insecurities.

I'm not saying that we can't be friends. Through my growth, we can change from a toxic relationship to something better. Our time together will be spent finding ways to express myself, instead of using you as a method of self-destruction. I like spending some time with you, but the insecure thirteen-year-old has grown into a woman who's decided to accept herself unconditionally.

Yours truly,

Maddie