I thought I had the ugliest ugly cry of them all. I’d been called “rabbit” in elementary school for my over-sized adult teeth in a tiny kid mouth, and I thought when I slept with my mouth open at a sleepover or cried like a real cry that I might be the ugliest thing that ever happened.
In contrast, I also got called names like “Porcelain Doll” and “Barbie” and was taunted by some girls when AOL Messenger first came out, daring me to come to high school without makeup. (Don’t think for a second I was a sitting duck. I always fought back tooth and nail with my own comebacks and internally beat myself up for that too. You can read about that here. But this article isn’t about that).
I thought I might not be pretty without makeup for a really long time.
I half-participated in the dare. I think I was bare-faced, but put on some kind of eye shadow. I didn’t think I looked pretty without it — in fact, I thought my eyes looked like a deer’s and that must have been a terrible, terrible thing because I certainly wasn’t gonna leave the house that way.
Add in some comments like “Oh, she probably doesn’t even poop” and I felt like a genuine fake. Makeup to cover up what I didn’t like. Hands to cover up my teeth if I’d laugh too hard.
It really wasn’t until a girl on my high school cheerleading team said to me “you even look pretty when you cry” that a light went off for me. Maybe my cry wasn’t so ugly after-all. Maybe I could actually feel pretty good about how I looked.
But it was kind of my MO to figure out one thing and then move on to internally criticizing myself about the next. I was always busy picking apart my body, or my intellect. I pretty much went through the whole gamut of my being until I finally, recently, decided enough was enough.
I could go through my life picking apart who I am and what I do, knowing deep down that’s not the way to true joy and peace. Or I could accept that I actually like my face without makeup, my body with it’s curves, and my personality, my heart, my soul…naturally. The way they come.
I don’t mean to say I don’t desperately want to grown and learn. Because I do. Maybe too much in fact because right now, one of my main goals is to try to to learn to sit still, relax a bit in my body and in my mind. Take the pressure off of myself. Enjoy the ride.
And ultimately land on true peace and real, un-fudge-able-with-confidence.
If I may paraphrase from what Oprah preaches, things come up in our lives for us to learn from them. This is Earth school and you have lessons to learn here. You learn one lesson and move on to the next. Or the same lesson keeps coming up for you until you learn it. Your choice.
So yeah. Finally. I agree. I think I’m really pretty. (I think you are, too, btw. We all are when we embrace ourselves. But this is about what you believe about yourself, and not about what I think, right???)
I still love to wear makeup, but after taking a year or two to allow myself to feel just as good when I have makeup on as when I don’t…I’ve noticed other women and friends look just as beautiful when they bare their faces — and their true selves — too.