Tuesday, September 27, 2016

bare-faced & angry

today i was angry

today i didn't wear makeup, because i was angry

earlier this week, i watched that old Dove Evolution video, where they show the physical and digital makeover performed on a female model before she's deemed worthy to be on a billboard

last night at the presidential debates, ms. clinton called out mr. trump for his past derogatory comments about [insert many things, but also] a woman's physical appearance

[insert any time/day], i grow weary of my MBA textbooks featuring stories rife with male characters and bereft of female presence

this morning, i parked my car next to a group of men

and i had to pause and think, do i feel like getting out of my car or waiting a minute. just in case they want to stare because i am a female and i am here and they are here

and all too often, "i am here and you are here" is all it takes for consent.

consent to my personal space belonging to someone else. the default permission setting is "yes, go ahead, no need to ask or avert."

it's a compliment. it's a small thing. don't overreact.

no

it's an invasion. do react. there's nothing "over" about it.

though most likely, i'd put my head down and walk faster, or wait it out in my car

today i was angry

i looked in the mirror, after my morning workout, and my face was flush and vibrant with energy

i put the mascara down

i have nothing against it, inherently. sometimes it is fun. sometimes i like to dress up! some days owning my space means putting my head up, wearing something flashy and layering on the lipstick and glitter eyeliner because i can.

it first became a daily thing for me when i was 13.

13!

no regrets. because it was fun, and it was exciting, and i felt so grown up.

but

eventually i wasn't "ready" without it

eventually i looked too tired. too splotchy. too sweaty. too young. too old. too sparse. too full. too bland.

as a feminist, i believe in a woman's right to do whatever she wants with her body -- makeup or no makeup. that's the beauty of you being in charge of you, as a woman. that's the beauty of truly owning your own space and allowing other people to own theirs.

but today, i felt the raw ache of the habit of disguising my skin and coloring my features to feel socially presentable. i felt the sting of my male classmates and coworkers rolling out of bed and meeting a minimum beauty standard by default. i felt the realization that it's not something some of them ever even consider. i felt the weight of expectation as heavy as the days that number it back to [whenever in history woman became a thing to be acted upon, a body to serve as an accessory, an actress that needs permission while never being asked for her own, an entity that isn't allowed to be angry without being shrill/bitchy/hormonal].

and my avenue to reclaiming my space today might seem trivial or silly or privileged or naive. and tomorrow, i might feel like wearing it again.

but today, i wanted my bare face to be enough without it. i wanted to be enough without it.

because today i was angry

and sometimes, the little protests are what we need and all we have

so today i was mine. and i was enough without it.


5 comments:

Annie Citrine said...

Yessss to all of this. I go through this exact rebellion every few weeks.
Why should I have to wear make up just to look presentable when a man doesn't??
Why should I blow dry my hair and straighten or curl it when a man pops out of the shower and rakes some gel through his??
Why do I have to wear real pants when half the men I encounter on any given day are wearing basketball shorts??
And then the next week I'll take 20 min doing make up and put on freaking spanx underneath my outfit.
You do you, girl. And OWN IT.
Who gives a flying fart what you look like anyway?
One of my favorite quotes is CS Lewis:
"You do not have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body."
Besides, no one should ever feel that they have to apologize for their own face. That's just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! This is gorgeous writing and such a strong battle cry. Thank you.

Camille Millecam Whiting said...

Love this! I do this from time to time and how liberating it feels to just be me without changes. I often find I notice natural features I love instead of critiquing the inoerfections.

Jael said...

Just, YES.

Budget Splurge Beauty said...

Yes girl! first off, you look beautiful without makeup and I'm not just saying that!! Although you don't owe it to anyone to look beautiful or anything else. I hear you loud and clear. Especially the part about men getting to roll out of bed and not have to second guess. Right?! I LOVE makeup but used to only wear it occasionally, when I had time. I had no problem leaving the house without makeup- often. Then my long term relationship ended and I found myself feeling ugly without it. I really hate that and I'm trying to work through it because what the heck!!