Individuals have standards of what beauty means. They can differ in hair, body type, skin color, etc. Growing up in America was difficult because in every direction there were advertisements for clothing and makeup. Magazine covers, TV commercials, and media outlets influenced me on “fitting in.” If you didn’t keep up with these standards, you were risking your stamp of approval with beauty.

fashion

Struggling with personal identity pushed me to challenge these beauty standards for myself. I knew this would prove difficult because one of my jobs revolved around standards of beauty. The retail store I worked under was built for women. Its emphasis was about staying on trend, and its merchandise turnover proved impossible to keep it up.

As a worker, you weren’t required to wear makeup, but being in that environment was encouragement enough. One day, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself. There were layers of makeup, hair dye, and clothes. I felt hidden. These things were not wrong in themselves, but there was something wrong with why I was using them.

I realized its hold on me when I couldn’t leave the house without “putting on my look.” This attachment was keeping me back from living life. I didn’t want to go out anymore because it meant spending hours getting ready. It became a job in itself to keep up! I was researching new looks and watching YouTube videos for hours a day. I was spending my money on products and the only things on my wishlist related to beauty. In the end, I wasted my time and resources.

So, I took it the extreme and stopped wearing makeup.

I worried about my naked face for weeks. In my mind, they were looking at me and judging me. I would go to work and help customers buy the trending clothes and encourage the beauty standard. But always being around people “improving themselves” made me feel unbeautiful without makeup.

A single realization changed my entire perspective when I noticed something. NOBODY WAS LOOKING.

Nobody cared what I was doing and they weren’t watching me! I was making up stories that weren’t true and letting them affect me. My narcissistic mind realized I didn’t matter to them. This single thought was liberating!

Makeup can be a tool for people. I’m not telling you to stop wearing your “face.” I still wear makeup from time-to-time, but it doesn’t have the same attachment. I’m no longer dependant on these things, and it allows me to be more active in life.

Till Next Time,

Merely Melina