"Imagine how many industries would go out of business if women decided they really liked their bodies." - Dr. Gail Dines
Flashback to 2012 when I discovered the accessory I couldn't live without: fake eyelashes. They sanctified my nonexistent lashes and on top of a face fleeked to the brim with lessons learned from Youtube beauty gurus and a new creme concealer contour palette, I'd glue these bad boys on and be ready for the day, no matter where I was going, no matter if I was even leaving my house, every day, for the next three years. I didn't dislike how my face looked right out of the shower, but there was no confidence quite like the type I got when my undereye bags were covered, cheekbones carved out, cheeks rosy, highlight beaming, and eyelashes touching my brows. Voila, some examples of what I looked like every day after an hour or two in front of the mirror:
During this period I also got really annoyed with #nomakeup pictures on Instagram. I never really liked or used hashtags, but there was just something about pictures with the #nomakeup one that roused the natural skeptic in me. I questioned the evenness of their skin, the length and darkness of their eyelashes, the absence of dark bags, obviously stemming from my own insecurities. I then questioned why it even mattered if someone was or wasn't wearing makeup in the first place, stemming from my genuine love for the art of makeup.
Last weekend, Alicia Keys went through with her #NoMakeup pledge at the BET awards and above all, glowed.
Amidst the message of embracing our natural selves, I read some sad, but familiar things.
It may be all in the words #NoMakeup but were people really this petty... was I really that petty? Although I knew it was hard to tell online what's real and what's not, I always would pause to mentally refute people's claims of their au naturel beauty, leaving me feeling mixed emotions, but fear of deceit and perhaps a little jealousy would summarize them.
As I got older, though, I just didn't want to make the time to do my face every morning. I sometimes even cringe at the thought of doing it just for the weekends! I have no one to thank for the drive behind my fresh faced journey but my apathy and laziness, and boy is not wearing makeup one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me. It was difficult the first few days, thinking only of what others would think of me, but when I realized no one really cared, I didn't either, and had only more room to be myself. Behold, my first ever selfie without makeup (I promise):
I think the #NoMakeup campaign has great intentions, but causes more problems than it may solve. I like makeup a lot, I'm seriously skeptical, and even if I went without makeup, it doesn't make me any better of a person. This movement implies going totally bare faced, which may be too big of a leap for some people, and I think that the message should always be moving towards more of who you are, on your own time. Maybe it should be called the #FreshFace campaign or the #ImGettingThere movement, but alas, if you do hashtag #NoMakeup, please be honest with yourself and the rest of the self-conscious media platform, because wearing makeup is fab. Not wearing makeup is fab. But lying about not wearing makeup? Not fab.