Saturday, July 29


I almost never wear makeup. I think it is a waste of time. I looked fine without it when I was nine, and I look fine without it now. I stopped wearing it when I was 15 or so. After hearing one of my friends talking about her morning routine I decided that I didn't want to feel that I didn't look 'normal' without makeup. I never wanted to look at myself in the mirror and think that I was ugly *because* I was without makeup.

Here's the thing that gets me. I still feel ugly, plain, and self-conscious when I'm around women wearing makeup (which is all the time).

I have stretch marks from being pregnant. They are scars that remind me that I am a mother. They remind me of the miraculous things my body did, of the pain and sacrifice I made. Sometimes I feel like they are sacred scars, of the same type (though nowhere near the same magnitude) as Christ's scars. I never want them to go away even when I'm resurrected. They mean too much to me. But I still frown whenever I look at my tummy because I feel it's ugly.

Do those feelings ever go away?


John said...

I hate that American society doesn't find beauty in wrinkles, stretch marks, healthy paunches and curves, sagging breasts that have nurtured and given so much of themselves. There should be beauty in youthful innocence, in the healthy body in its prime, in the wizened body, and everything in between. It seems that instead TV and magazines freeze beauty into one unattainable ideal.

I'm as much a slave to these cultural norms as anyone, though I try to fight them. I frown at my belly, and am sad that I don't have the muscle tone that I had when I wrestled in high school. Maybe I can relate to your feelings, at least a tiny bit.

But I like that Jana is natural, and when she puts on makeup she does it in such a way as to not make it obvious that she's wearing it. I also find it heartening that even as we age and our bodies readjust, I still find that she can take my breath away. So I guess there's hope. :)

John said...

This post might be relevant.

rich said...

SF, I hope your spousal unit loves you sans makeup, and helps you to feel loved and valued and pretty.

If other women make you feel less than, pity. If you like yourself sans, yay! If not, a little touch up is okay, especially when you know you're off to someplace public.

Nothing wrong with wanting to look our best. If your best is natural, go ahead and be yourself, and learn to hold your head up!

I've learned to love many women whose outward countenance didn't at first catch my eye, because of their awesome personalities. I suspect you are way ahead of most in that respect already. Smile, be happy, and let your inner beauty illuminate your being!

(Also, a big amen to John's comment)

jana said...

When I was a young teen I remember being kind of embarrassed that my Mom didn't wear makeup like my other friends' Moms did. In my mind she seemed backwards and a bit homely.

Now I don't wear makeup at all, really. Maybe just a bit of blush if I look particularly pale, or a bit of eyeliner about once/year for a super-special night out with John. When I do wear this makeup it feels so weird, as if I am wearing some big neon sign on my forehead that I'm trying hard to look younger or prettier than I really am. It feels really awkward to me.

I don't mind that my friends wear makeup. For the most part it looks really good on them and makes them feel more confident. But it's not my thing.

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