The beauty of choice

I love makeup. I have never had a day where upon waking up I feel annoyed at having to put it on. If that were the case I probably wouldn’t wear any. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t wear so much, or that I only do it for other people, and I resent both those ideas. I don’t see why anyone should feel the need to tell anyone else what they should, or shouldn’t, do with their own face or body. Unless, of course, it’s seriously hurting themselves or others.

For me, makeup has always been a form of expression. In Jr. high school, one of the most miserable periods in my (and probably everyone’s) life, I used to come home, sit in front of my light up mirror, and escape. I could try on different personas, I could be anyone, it was freeing. I hate the idea that for some women wearing make-up isn’t a choice, it’s an obligation. It’s something forced upon us in the name of making ourselves our best, but really all it does is promote sameness, because women aren’t encouraged to wear make up to express themselves, they’re encouraged to wear it to ‘improve’ themselves, to show their best face to the world. That’s fine, but it shouldn’t be a standard. To some people, a woman who doesn’t use cosmetics is equally as shameful as the woman who layers it on. We are always being told, do this not that, this is appropriate, and this is not. But the truth is, what is appropriate for one person may not be for another. We get to make those choices for ourselves.

I have tried every kind of look on my face and I’ve proudly paraded my blue eyeshadow or purple lips wherever I felt necessary. Unfortunately, once I started working in an office I began feeling pressure to conform. As an intern my supervisor once turned to me in horror “your eyeshadow—it’s GREEN!” I suddenly felt called out, and for the duration of my internship I stuck to taupe shadow, I didn’t want to appear unprofessional, I wanted to be taken seriously. Looking back I know now that I shouldn’t have let that get to me, I am who I am, and I like green eyeshadow.

I’ve also worn liquid eyeliner nearly everyday for ten plus years, I love wearing it, it feels like me. I put it on to go to the grocery store, and even sometimes when I am doing an aerobics video at home, all alone. I do it for myself. Once, when I was going through a tough spat and feeling very depressed I stopped wearing it. A close friend of mine sat me down and told me she was concerned “I noticed you haven’t been wearing eyeliner, is everything OK?” it wasn’t. And she was right, it made me realize I was losing myself. Because what you put on your face, it’s really all about you, and how it makes you feel. Nobody should be afraid to wear red lipstick or blush, but nobody should feel like they have to either. It should be an individual choice. If you want to wear bold lips and bold eyes, well damn what Allure says, you go do it! Not because you want to look hot for some guy, or because your friends are doing it, or because it’s like super hot right now, but because YOU want to do it.

There are always going to be people who, for some reason, feel the need to share their opinion of what you choose to do with your body, probably because they have issues with their own image, but it’s your face, and it’s yours to show the world however you decide.  So please ladies (and gentlemen) don’t let anyone ever make you feel otherwise!



Filed under acceptance, cosmetics

5 responses to “The beauty of choice

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. Thanks Justine!

  2. haren

    You go girl!

  3. lizzy

    i love your eyeliner too! you’re a makeup inspiration!

  4. kristen

    I love green eyeshadow too! My favorite is called Dragon’s Blood. I have to work on being confident enough to wear it ANYWHERE!

    • Kristen, I’m sure that eyeshadow looks amazing on you! It can be so hard to have the confidence to wear what we actually want to wear, I hope you rock that Dragon’s blood shadow!!

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