Friday, August 8, 2014

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful...

There has been a lot of talk about body image lately. Posts about how companies are making money off of insecurities, makeup companies are getting rich by telling us that we don't look good enough, or need to weigh more, or less, or whatever. That having gender-differentiated toys is bad. That items shouldn't be marketed to boys or girls separately. And so on and so on.

You know what? I'm tired of it. I'm tired of people complaining about it. I'm tired of the protests and the cries of "OH MY GOODNESS YOU'RE BEING REPRESSED AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT!!!"

Do I wear makeup? Sometimes. I have off and on since middle school. Have I struggled with weight and body image? I've done the whole diet and exercise thing from time to time. Successfully and otherwise. Do I consider myself a victim of other people pressuring me to think/feel/be a certain way? Nope.

I wear makeup because I like how it looks. I like how it makes me feel. A friend described it as "War Paint". Sometimes, that's exactly what it is. Most of the time, I don't wear makeup. I have no problem with how I look without it. I don't have a crazy need for it. And when I do wear it, the look is very subtle, very natural. One of these days I might go all out and do the whole glam thing. Because it's fun. It's dress-up with your face. It's like putting on a mask.

I usually tell people that if I'm wearing makeup and all dressed up, it's likely I woke up that day not feeling the greatest. It gives me a boost, and helps my inside and outside feel beautiful at the same time. I asked my 14yo daughter and her best friend why they wear makeup, and they just looked at me like I sprouted a 3rd eye. No one says they have to, they just like to. They agree that you shouldn't start until 8th grade or so, when you have a better idea of how to apply it and how to not cake it on (unless that's the look you're looking for) etc. I've raised my daughter to know she's beautiful no matter what, and to know that she doesn't have to meet someone else's expectations of what's beautiful. And while there are some out there who are raising their children otherwise, I like to think they're in the minority.

So you, the people telling me that the beauty companies are all evil and getting me to buy things because they're preying on my insecurities - stop. I'm more intelligent than that. Give me more credit than that. Don't tell me that it's a bad thing that I like wearing makeup. I know I'm beautiful without it. I wear it because I enjoy it. And you telling me that wearing makeup makes me any less of a person is worse than people trying to tell me I need it. You are acting like you know what I want and what's best for me. The beauty companies are just offering suggestions. Sometimes subtle and insidious, but they haven't ever told me that I'm wrong.

Let's stop talking in absolutes. Give people some credit that they're capable of making their own decisions. Just because I agree with a mainstream thought doesn't make me a lemming.

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