New Year’s resolution: Be beautiful — even without makeup
Last night, I went out to dinner. This is unremarkable. I love someone to wait on me, good food and better company. But there was a moment before dinner that was remarkable to me, personally. I had finished showering and dressing after the blessed trifecta of a workout, soak and sauna.
I had gotten past the annoying fact that I’d forgotten my hairbrush with some finger-combing and a hair clip with only moderate success at the messy-chic look, and then I reached for my makeup bag. Unsurprisingly, I had also left it, presumably on the very bathroom counter across town where my hairbrush lay.
It was a quandary. What’s a girl to do? And could I do it? Could I venture into a public social space naked faced? This wasn’t like putting on big dark sunglasses and running to the grocery store for milk, to drop off the kids or to the ATM. People would see me.
People would see Me.
It would be the 40-year time lapse of my face as it was when I entered this world:
Unpainted, unmoisturized, uncoiffed. Unenhanced, un-Photoshopped, undone. Revealing all scars, blotches, wrinkles, blemishes and oh, my god, lashes without my Lashfood-conditioning-drama mascara.
The remarkable part is that I surprised myself. I looked in the mirror and I thought, “Oh well.” I looked at my face, at the redness on my chin from picking a zit I should no longer be getting (Hello, 40!), at that damn ever-strengthening laugh line on the right side of my face, at the scar on my lip that I can hide with a sienna Smashbox liner and a Burt’s Bees lip crayon. I looked at the pores on my nose I think are much too big, and the uneven coloring that my liquid powder foundation evens. I looked at all of those things that I spend so much money and time trying to hide, to put my best face forward — so to speak — and I thought, oh, well.
I was going to dinner with someone I already knew thought I was beautiful, and in that moment, I chose to think so too. Or maybe, to realize that I know so.
It was a great dinner. I saw actual people and no one screamed and pointed. No children cried, and I wasn’t invited to guest star on “American Horror Story: Freak Show”. My server recognized me (imagine) and remembered my usual drink. I ate too much sushi and laughed until my stomach hurt. And I had to explain where I got that scar on my lip. There is a story everywhere.
Today, my inbox and Elephant Journal gifted me The Yoga of (My) Body Hatred by Angel Kalafatis, and I laughed again at the perfect timing. She talked secondhand about judgment of others and ultimately of ourselves, via “Habitual Body Monitoring,” which is what we, especially women, do when we mentally assess and adjust — almost continually, as our minds run unchecked, asking questions and making adjustments. How does the lighting fall, how’s my hair, pulling my jeans up, shifting weight, do I look good from that angle, etc. Angel mentions (via a TED Talk by Dr. Caroline Heldman) that there is science to back up that women do this once every 30 seconds. And that it is so often that it interferes with our cognitive functioning.
“We are basically wasting so much mental energy freaking out about our muffin tops that it’s actually making us dumber.”
Wow. What are we doing to ourselves? Angel reminds us that “Dropping hate makes space for love.” So let’s do that with our body hatred.
I love it when a popular artist chooses or writes a song that can cut through the thick, syrupy BS of pop culture with something a little deeper and more real than “Anacondas” and “How to Hate.”
So, in the words of Colbie Caillet,
Take your makeup off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you
It is beautiful to have your unique eyes, it is beautiful to try, to fail forward, to dance. It is beautiful to create, to laugh, to have compassion. It is beautiful to be afraid, and to do it anyway. Your bare face is beautiful in the morning, and so are your feet in the sand. So is a fresh flower in your wild, untamed hair.
So go on. Be Beautiful this year. To you.
Mari Rose Hale is a Glenwood Springs writer. She blogs at mariroseland.wordpress.com. Semi-Conscious appears on the fourth Tuesday of each month in Body & More.
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