I learned a few things in high school. I learned algebra. I learned chemistry (just kidding). I learned the definition of viscosity.
And since I’m a woman, I also learned that in order to go out in public, you must “put your face on.” For at some point in history, we determined that women’s faces, as they are, are not the proper faces. That in order for others to find your appearance acceptable, a woman must draw on her face.
She must cover the pimples and the bumps, the splotches and the blotches, the circles and the bags. Her lashes must be black, long, and curly. Her wrinkles must be combated, and her freckles must be tamed.
But me, I love wrinkles. Every wrinkle forms a story on your face. Some are from stress and anger — stress and anger that you survived and conquered. Do you remember how? Some are from laughter and smiles. Some wrinkles simply appear out of age, and we are ashamed of age. But age is the most valuable gift. For in order to have aged, you must have lived. You have achieved survival. You have learned and have become wiser. You have seen more, heard more, tasted more, smelled more, and felt more than your younger, wrinkle-free counterparts.
And me, I am covered with splotches, blotches, circles, and bags. I am a mother. I work hard. I sleep little. My very story is here on my face for you to read.
And me, I have pimples and bumps. But so do many others. If a pimple is a flaw, good. Flaws are amazing. Imperfection is what caused the creation of this very universe (big bang theory principle). Imperfection and flaws make life interesting and enjoyable. Am I going to say I enjoy my pimples? Hell no. But I have also come to the realization that I should not create stress trying to cover a bump that is impossible to hide, that I am not the only one that has them, and that there really is no reason to be embarrassed about them.
Me. I am me. That’s the thing. I don’t want to look like Barbie, or Amy, or Suzie. Look at me. I have a “Newbie nose.” It came from my grandpa and my dad. I have wrinkles around my eyes that deepen when I smile. I have shallow cheekbones and thin lips. I have moles, pale skin in the winter, and freckles in the summer. My eyelashes are not dark or curly. They match my hair and they do a great job of keeping debris out of my eyes. My skin tone is not uniform or perfect. It has gradients and patches of color.
But when you look at this picture, is that what you notice? Or do you notice an adorable baby and a proud, beaming mother? Are you looking at that extra fat under my chin like I did?
The thing is, I don’t look at anyone else like I look at myself in the mirror. I don’t pick others’ appearances apart. I don’t count their wrinkles or scan for pimples. I listen to them, I interpret their feelings, I look inside them. And I’ve come to realize that that’s what others do with me, too.
They look inside me. So I decided to allot more time to improving my inner appearance than my outer appearance. It may not be as fun. It may not be as glamorous. But has certainly been more fulfilling.
I want you to know that I do not condemn the practice of wearing makeup. I did it. I may do it again. Up top you may see pictures of me with makeup. I will replace them once my baby detaches long enough for me to get photos taken. But I still proclaim that women do not need to alter the appearance of their faces in order to be “put together.” And if you see a woman who is not wearing makeup, remember that perhaps she is not “letting herself go.” Perhaps she is remodeling her soul.