As I promised you guys yesterday, I am sharing my naked buttface with you in this post. No make up, no photoshop, no lies.
Now, just to be clear: it's not like posting these pictures was a huge hurdle for me. I am not crying or shaking or being confronted with my own insecurities. I know a lot of people would be, but I think it wouldn't do the subject justice if only those people would tell their story. My story is different, as is yours. It all started in high school, around my 15th birthday : some of my classmates wore make up, others preferred a fresh face. There would always be some kind of judgment to go with the choice you made: a girl who wore make up (or skirts for that matter) was considered a show off or desperate for (male) attention, while a bare faced girl would be considered unattractive, dowdy or masculine, unless she was a B.A.B.E. of course. But hardly anyone considers themself a babe in high school, so basically we were all making each other's and our own lives miserable: we were insecure and judged our own looks, and because of that insecurity we took it out on our classmates who we sought to bring down as well, so we wouldn't feel as crappy about ourselves. Cliché, yes, but oh so very true. If you put someone else in the corner, you feel as if you are standing in the center.
Now, I started out as one of the bare faced girls, but around my 16th birthday I started regularly wearing make up. Most of my classmates had caved by this time, so the judgment wasn't as sharp as it used to be. Apparently, all of us crossed an invisible line that told us it was OK to start wearing make up. Of course I had already bought things, trying them out in the privacy of my own home, but going to school with more than a dab of lipgloss was not something I would have considered. I started putting on eyeliner, and from there more things were added to my make up routine. The most significant item probably being foundation. Eyeliner or lipstick is something that is very obviously present, it gives you a made up appearance. Foundation however is a sneaky little bastard: it makes your skin look flawless (if you use it right), but it actually covers up your natural skin completely to replace it with something more glowy, more even, more perfect. Even when it looks as natural as can be, it is still a mask. Just think about it: if all of us wear foundation, yet none of us actually want to look like we are wearing it, will the concept of natural looking skin just become outdated and gross? We all know everyone has imperfect skin under all of the cremes and lotions, but do we REALLY still know it? And more importantly: do we accept it? Just like ungroomed pubic hair for example, or armpit hair on women. Having a bare face if you are not 100% gorgeous according to standards, or having armpit hair or unshaved legs is basically not done. It is not accepted. We are in denial.
Just to illustrate my point: women are actually getting fired from their jobs because of their refusal to wear make up. We do not want to see our normal faces, naked faces are not acceptable. Having a non-made up face makes you look sick, as if you've given up (like society has lost its grip on you?). Of course transgressors of these limits must be punished! Again, this is a feminist issue. After all, have you ever considered how much more money a woman has to spend on looking good and maintaining her good looks(!)? Make up doesn't come cheap, keeping your wardrobe semi-up-to-date isn't free either. This is a problem that systematically burdens women with practical and mental problems no guy will ever have to deal with. Women in politics have often lamented the fact that male politicians just wear the same suit day in day out and still have the attention directed at their views and goals, while women in public positions are scrutinized for what they wear and how they present themselves at any time. This has been scientifically researched and established as a fact.
But as I have said before: feminism isn't about hating on make up or "girly things". Feminism is about trying to find the reasons why that hate for girly things exists, and about examining the origins of the social practices that hold us back and keep us down. Let me state clearly: I love make up. I love expressing myself through clothes. And while the pressure on us to put on make up and fancy outfits can be very, VERY bothersome, I also see the opportunities it gives us. Men don't have half the affordable options to express themselves through their style and get called effeminate or (zomg even worse!!8!!8!!) gay when they do try and cross the line. However, as much as I love wearing make up every.single.day. I also sometimes wish the choice wasn't already made for me, partially. I wish I could just say "hm, a no make up day today!" and not have the entire world judge me for not taking care of myself. Or more importantly: I wish I could just love my no make up face as much as I do my public face.
So here is my naked face. No Make Up Monday, people! Let's start with the worst pictures, because they illustrate the point I'll be trying to make the best. You see, I'm not the biggest fan of my skin or my make up-less face. I have uneven skin, pores, redness, dark circles: everything a normal person's skin has, and then some. When I saw this first picture on my viewfinder, I thought I looked like a burn victim. Even though I don't want to be a slave of the beauty myth, and I don't think we should all look attractive all of the time (people can have their own priorities), I still prefer looking nice.
Here I am, pores away! I've barely rubbed the sleep out of my eyes here, and I was sort of hating my face. Messy, ill, tired, blotchy and not expressive. But the lighting wasn't doing any favors, so I took my ass over to a window to get some natural light up in hiyah. No one looks good in a dimly lit bathroom, NO NOT EVEN YOU LARA STONE
Slightly better. I look like a ghost but hey, at least my skin looks sort of nice? Gosh, I really am pale.(I'm livestreaming my thoughts here). But maybe it's just the fact that I look so... Serious? Sad?
Actually, after seeing this picture a couple of times on my monitor, I started accepting it. I have said it once and I'll say it again: taking thousands of pictures of yourself for your blog and browsing through them gives you a much more honest view on who you are and what you look like. Just try and look at a picture you HATE over and over again, and you'll find that it actually isn't as bad as you thought it was. That's what happened in my mind here.
Downstairs on my "good lighting" spot again, after showering. I actually don't mind the way I look here? Apparently my skin isn't nearly as bad as I thought it was? And look at those pretty, naturally rosey cheeks!
So was I cured?
So was I cured?
Neh, I still chose to put on my make up. And I still prefer my face with make up. I can control the way I am perceived by others if I wear my mask, and I am a big control freak. But to say this didn't mean anything would be wrong as well. By sharing my natural face with you, I am showing you that mostly everyone has imperfect skin. And that's okey. In fact, I challenge you all to take some pictures of yourself without make up and look at them for a while. After all, the first step is acceptance. Looking your fears in the (dark circled) eye.