When Gabriel and I first decided we were going in it for the long haul, I told him straight up, “If there’s anything I do, ever, that you don’t like, or don’t appreciate, or otherwise rubs you the wrong way, you tell me right away. I don’t want you holding on to little things here and there so five years down the road we’re all passive-aggressive at each other.”
He said he would do his best.
I thought I meant it.
However, a couple of weeks later, he came up to me and said “You remember when you told me to tell you if there was something you did that bothered me?”
“Uhoh” goes the internal monologue. “What did I do?!?! shit shit shit SHIT. I can’t think of anything I could’ve done. Panic panic Panic.”
My skin quivered at the thought of some mannerism of mine or another getting on his nerves, and just a couple weeks in.
“Yeah! What’s up?” I say mustering up as much courage and fake nonchalance as possible. Bracing my ego for the blow it was about to receive.
“I don’t like it when you wear make up” He says.
WTF?!!?! srsly? My face probably crooked under the pressure of confusion like an old gnarly tree that’s grown against strong gusts of wind.
“I think you’re prettier without it…”
The barriers I’d put up between him and my ego all melted immediately, like butter on a warm pan.
“And it stays on your face for like days after you put it on.”
Ok, it’s not fair to get me AFTER I’ve torn down the walls, mister.
No but seriously… can we go back to the part where you said I’m prettier without it, because I’ve been highlighting the outline of my eye in the thickest, most darkest shade of black since I’ve had access to an eyeliner pencil to hide the shit out of what my face actually looks like.
Why did I do that if I’m prettier without it?!
Didn’t need to ask me twice. Makeup’s expensive and makes no sense in the tropics. Plus, with the confidence I now had that the only man I cared about liked me better this way, there was really no reason
But it made me question why I had gone so many years thinking my face needed to be up behind a mask.
There was the darkness to it, the remnants of teen angst, the mystery, the you-can’t-look-at-my-eyes-without-first-having-to-locate-them-in-the-smog-of-confusion…
But mostly there was the I’m-not-pretty-enough.
Having not only the permission, but having actually been ordered NOT to wear makeup was liberating. a weight lifted off my shoulders.
It wasn’t so much the routine. I could put on eyeliner in a moving car, with one hand, at night, without poking out my eyeball, in about 20 seconds flat.
No, it was the removal of the veil.
From now on I wasn’t my mask anymore, I was going to be me.
That was nice.
Nice BUT, you gotta take care of you if that’s all anyone’s ever going to see.
Anna Akana does a real great video about this if you haven’t seen it already.
Is that the end of my makeup days forever?!!
Of course not. It’s nice to play dress up from time to time, to put on a costume because I feel like it, rather than because I don’t think the world will accept me without it.
I’m not that talented at makeup-artistry so it’s never too elaborate, but when we go out, I get done up.
I got my face done up for our wedding. :)
Ladies, you’re pretty enough. Take off your masks, take care of the lady underneath and let her shine. Feed her good food and lots of self love and allow yourself to find a man who loves the real you instead of the you that you wish you were. You’ll be amazed how much more amazing she is than you ever thought was possible.