This post is in collaboration with my friend and former makeup addicted colleague Steph.Chantel Beauty. We met up one day and decided to tackle this subject together. You can go check out her post here.
I was a eating a bagel and drinking coffee with lots of cream and some sugar. I saw my pink lipstick leave a stain on my coffee cup and it honestly gave me so much joy to see that shade of pink. It’s so unnatural and pretty. As a lipstick wearer, I love seeing my lip mark on every cup I touch. On the day that I began writing this blog post, it was the first time in a week that I had gone all out on my makeup. I used some new eyeshadows and just had FUN. But as I went through my routine of: primer, foundation, highlighting and contouring, in my mind; I couldn’t help but think of my search to ultimately have a perfect face. Immediately that love for the pink stain vanished and it was replaced with guilt.
I don’t want to get all bummer-like or theoretical because 1. I don’t have the capacity to be theoretical and 2. I don’t want to come across as preachy and a party pooper. I just want to talk from the heart. I want to express a nagging feeling I have every time I look for a primer, go to a wax appointment or search out the skin treatment that will give me that fresh baby skin that I so desperately want. (Okay maybe I am going to get a little dark, so brace yourself.)
The feeling isn’t always present, especially not when on the hunt or at checkout, the feeling comes after I’ve long applied the makeup, maybe when I post a selfie and likely when I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It’s the feeling that I am not doing enough. It will never be enough. The pores on my skin will always stick out like craters. The hair on my chin will always sprout back (unless I invest in laser treatment..) or my hair will always need loads of effort to make it into smooth, perfect curl. And it’s bullshit.
Deep down, I know: I am supporting an industry that wants to mold me into the ideal beauty. That in order to be considered beautiful I need to fix everything on my face, body, hair. In order to be considered one of the beauties: I need to fit into a box. And to a certain extent, it’s true. Our society still has a perception of beauty that is out-of-reach and EXPENSIVE.
And I don’t want to say: it’s all for nothing. This is where my mix-feelings come from because I want to be beautiful. I am vain. I am human. With that comes the feeling of wanting to be accepted. On top of that, I fucking love beauty. I love the innovation some brands have done with products. I love the way we can play with colour on our face. I love that liquid eyeliner is something some of us want to conquer and perfect. I love the science behind it. I love the inspiration of it. And I do love idolizing beauty, so much that it hurts. What holds us back is seeing beauty in a narrow perspective.
For a minute I want to just blame myself because it’s easier. But that doesn’t answer the why I feel this. It doesn’t address the fact that there is a certain type of beauty that still dominates our Instagram feeds, magazine covers and basically all of our screens: cell phone, tv, film. S/he’s fair skinned, s/he’s fair haired, s/he’s likely of European decent and s/he’s a wealthy, a perfect beauty.
I think trying to understand the why is a complicated topic. I’ve only scratched the surface on this topic. There is so much that I don’t even know where to start. I started with a personal feeling. What I experience on the daily. What we see on social media, the perfection-reel, the ideal can be toxic. It isn’t real. It isn’t our daily. That is why, I will never photoshop a makeup beauty photo. I may change some lighting on a photography but I would never airbrush my pores (although I really want to) or make myself appear skinner. I want to be as natural, authentic and ruthlessly myself.
We are all beautiful. If we want to be. And I don’t mean you need to be trimmed and primed 24/7 or ever. I mean, you need to be authentically beautiful. The most beautiful and inspiring people in the world are those who are unforgivably and ruthlessly themselves. We need to constantly be working on ourselves. We do need to strive for our very best. All in a healthy and gentle manner.
With that, I’ll leave you with the beauties that keep me real every fucking day of my life.