A little while ago, a random lady stopped me in the grocery store to tell me that she “admired” the fact that I was out and about without makeup on because “it makes such a political statement.” At the time, I sort of awkwardly went with it because, I mean, who doesn’t like compliments, however weird they may seem?
As time went on, I began to think a lot more about what the random lady said. Honestly, I was pretty not into the idea that my face is a political statement. Because, well, it’s just not.
While it is true that I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, there aren’t any political motives behind it. In fact, the reasons why I don’t wear makeup daily are awfully mundane. For example:
- I don’t really know how to put on a full face of makeup. My mother’s definition of getting “gussied up” is putting on mascara and blush. My grandmother has only ever worn lipstick, save for that one time she asked me to put eye shadow on her before her sister’s funeral so that she would “look less corpse-like.” (Poor timing, Grandma. Way to kill the mood.) Even now, after I’ve nailed the application of basic makeup, I still have a hard time selecting which colors go with which outfit and I still don’t know how concealer works. (I also text my best friends pictures of my outfits so they can tell me what makeup to wear on a frequent basis.)
- I have good skin. When I first came of the age where girls started wearing foundation and powder and concealer and all of that, my mother warned me against it because “it’s not like you need to cover anything up.” Now that I’m older, I’ve come to believe that the reason why I have such good skin is because I never got involved in the perpetual cycle of covering and removing.
- My work has only very rarely required a “full face of slap” to look “professional.” With the exception of my oft-mentioned, ill-fated paper selling job, I’ve never had a boss comment on my lack of makeup. When I worked as a substitute-at-large/professional child minder, excessive makeup felt like a farce. (Seriously, get to know a batch of kids with just mascara on and then show up one day with a full face! They will notice! They won’t like it!) These days, I only put on makeup if I’m going to church or meeting up with friends. As a side benefit, I save a bundle on cosmetics.
- I’m okay with how I look. I know what I look like – with and without makeup – and I’m comfortable going about my day-to-day life either way. Appearing in public without makeup has never bothered me. Appearing in public with makeup has also never bothered me.
- I’m lazy. With a thousand and one things to get done in the average day, I’d rather skip the non-essentials.
In short, I don’t view my makeup-less face as a political decision, or really, a decision of any type. I don’t put any thought into whether or not I wear makeup, nor do I put any thought into whether or not you wear makeup.
So let’s just all be joyfully apolitical in our makeup decisions, okay?