It seems to me that society has a way of telling girls and women that the only way to really fit in and be a girl or woman is if you wear make-up. Every single film, tv show, magazine, book cover, etc, seems to show a picture of a female who has professionally done make-up, and lets not go down the photoshop road where we remove all spots and blemishes too. But, needless to say, staring everyone in the face is this idea that without make up, females just aren't doing it right.
This is how I felt growing up. I would watch as my eldest sister got ready to go to school and it would take her over an hour just to put make-up on. I'd go to school without it and meet up with my friends who were all perfectly made-up and liked to spend time discussing the newest line that had been released at the weekend while I sat feeling a little confused and alone.
I don't remember when I first started wearing make-up. I don't know what it was that made me walk into Superdrug and buy my first product. But I have now come to a point in my life where I am physically incapable of living without it. In fact, I actually did an experiment last month just to see if I could live without it and it was hard, I felt uncomfortable, and eventually I was incredibly glad the month was up. I ran back to my BB creame and plastered it on my face with an odd sense of glee.
This was a revealing moment for me. As I grew up without a clue, it's odd to realise that I now struggle without make-up. Essentially the only make-up I use is foundation. Occasionally I might branch out to some mascara and a bit of blusher but that's as far as I go. Mostly because I wouldn't even know where to start when it comes to the rest of the make up range. But what I discovered about make-up and me is that I find that wearing foundation is similar to wearing clothes.
When I walk out of the house without make-up, I feel naked. It doesn't matter that usually by the end of the day my foundation has washed off anyway, the fact that to start the day I was free of it, left me feeling so uncomfortable. It felt like everyone was looking at me. Like they were looking at all my ugly freckles, at my face blemishes, at the ugly spots and the moments when my cheeks would heat up, and they were judging me. (They weren't, but that's what it felt like to me). It's a bit like when you get home and realise you have something stuck between your teeth and you realise no body told you about it. To me, not wearing make-up and having no one say anything felt like they were just being too polite.
So while it took me a while to first put make-up on, and while I don't think it's something that women have to wear, I thought it was interesting to discover that I have now become someone unable to go make-up free. To me, make-up is as essential as wearing clothes. Without it I feel naked, on show, and looked at. Make-up lets me blend in and I'm able to sit in the background unnoticed.
Because with society making it seem normal to wear make-up, not wearing it can definitely make it seem like you've got a spotlight on you. (But you don't, you really don't). So what I want to end this post with is to say that while I am unable to leave the house without make-up on, in some ways I wish I never started wearing it. Because I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't feel this uncomfortable about not wearing make-up. If you're someone who doesn't wear make-up, good on you. If you're someone who does, good on you too.