I spend a fair amount of time hating my personality because I’m socially awkward. When I die they should carve on my headstone “Ugh. Why did I say that?!?!?!” But although I don’t always enjoy my personality, I tend to be okay with my looks. I look like my parents, they were nice looking people, and I loved them. And I like to see them. My father is long dead and my mother lives far away. It is nice to see them when I’m brushing my teeth.
The Mirror Has Two Faces is not a good movie. I love it. Regardless, it is crap. But there is one great line in the movie. The protagonist played by mildly deranged fame demon Barbara Streisand is talking to her future husband and he comments on the fact that she doesn’t wear makeup. And she says, “What’s the point? I’d still look like me, only in color.” It isn’t magic. You don’t wave the mascara wand around, say some incantations and get a new face. You get a face that is shinier or more matte. You get eyes that look slightly bigger and lips that are a different color and maybe a little fuller. But it is still your face. And since I’m cool with my face it always felt like it wasn’t worth the hassle.
I am aware that I have some facial features that years of human evolution have deemed as more attractive than others. And I don’t have acne or wrinkles. I’m also lacking in birth marks and scars. So it is easier for me to say “Eh. That’s acceptable” versus someone who has to deal with excessive external criticism regarding their looks. But since when has being pretty stopped anyone from feeling shitty about their looks and being makeup and plastic surgery obsessed? What’s that you said? Oh. Right. Never. So it isn’t that.
I suspect it is a form of complacency that I’ve decided is contentment. I am currently as beautiful as I will ever be. It is all downhill from here. I can’t afford plastic surgery and am not healthy enough to risk having it. Therefore, thinking up reasons why I need it would be counterproductive to my desire to be happy.
And I don’t worry much about being pretty because it isn’t my job. I’m not a model or actress. No one pays me to be pretty, so I don’t have to be good at it. The insurance company that has the honor of being my day job would hypothetically pay me the same amount to do my job if I wore makeup. I say hypothetically because I do not know what the most beautiful women in the office make and I have never consistently shown up to the office looking like something other than the kind of woman who reads a lot and has never accomplished a successful cat-eye. Since what we’re building towards is me starting to wear makeup, soon we may find out.
I don’t have many friends who are not daily makeup wearers. One doesn’t know how to apply it. And another is allergic to everything and swelling and open sores don’t bring all the boys to the yard. So I have had ample opportunity to ask “Why is it that you do the thing that you do with your face?”
1) “I have bad skin.” I’m not sure who decides what is good or bad skin. But my understanding of the standard is that it is smooth and one even skin tone. This is also virtually impossible to accomplish past your 12th birthday. People constantly compliment me on my skin. It is three distinct colors. We should have separate skin standards for adults and children.
2) “I look tired.” Umm…Bitch, you are tired. You have kids/a job/an annoying husband/insomnia/a casual cocaine habit or combination of two or more. If we all look tired, no one looks tired. New Standard! Who’s with me? *crickets*
3) “I don’t have any eyelashes if I don’t put on mascara.” You demonstrably DO have eyelashes if you can apply mascara. If you don’t have alopecia universalis then you are being overdramatic and allowing Maybelline to pimp you out to make them rich.
4) “I don’t want to look old.” Yeah. This is a tough one. I don’t want to be mean. But if you are worried about looking old you probably already do or makeup isn’t going to help. You’ll just look less like you’re going to die today. And before you come for me with your “Easy for you to say. Black don’t crack.” I beg to differ. Black just takes longer to crack, but it almost always cracks. I’m going to look the same way I do today until I’m 60. And then in what will seem has been overnight I will look 110 years old. I’ve seen it happen. It is like there is an invisible army that shoves black women into meat dehydrators when they least expect it. And then we find ourselves whining, “But I used to look so good.”
5) “I like it/I like how it looks/It is fun.” Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. This makes sense to me. In this scenario no one is internalizing impossible to achievable beauty standards that slowly poison their soul until they’re writing into their will how they want their hair and makeup done at their funeral.
Since all of my readers are smart and ask the right questions, you’re wondering why if I don’t feel like I need it and I don’t like it, why am I going to start wearing makeup again. Excellent. Good for you. It is because I recently through careful examination realized that the kind of men that I want to attract like women who wear makeup. That when you put on makeup it signals to the world that you prepared to be noticed and want to be looked at. Wearing makeup says “I wanted to look my best for you.” It doesn’t matter that what I think is my best look is “$50 richer and slept 10 more minutes.” In order to achieve the desired result we must take the appropriate action. (Insert eye-roll) So I will wear makeup every day for two weeks, and see if I notice any positive change in how the world treats me. I’ll let you know. So prepare yourself for a bitter diatribe on how superficial the world is. Or just a video of me twirling and laughing with a scrubbed clean face shining with triumph.