Penshy Writes – The Make Up Flaws In Our Reflection
A while ago, I wrote an article on self-love and no makeup titled – “Not Always BEAT?! I’m a Beauty Editor & Here’s why I don’t Always Wear Makeup.” It was and still is one of my favourites, not just because of where it was coming from, but who it touched. It was a dedication to women all over who needed a little more self-love in their lives, but were in some way unable to get it because they always had an imminent fall back plan – makeup. Looking back at that article now and the response it got, I realize that writing such a post was not just about me getting comfortable with my skin (spots, scars & all), but letting other women know that underneath all the foundation and highlighting, is a truth some of us are too scared or ashamed to admit. Whether you’re dealing with spots, scars, freckles, hyper-pigmentation or you simply wish you were lighter or darker, there is no perfection anywhere.
Skin was not made to be perfect. It was meant to have scars, and that’s why it has the ability to heal; it was designed to have acne & spots, that’s why it has the provisions to produce & fade them. The term “Flawless Skin”, now that I think of it is almost laughable in its entirety, because it takes power away from the fact that we are by nature flawed, and places more emphasis on the belief that these flaws are unnatural and therefore we should be punished for them. So we try to fix them. A little highlight here, some contouring there, an overdrawn lip over here…all in a bid to get as close to perfection as possible like flying bugs clamoring for the ray of electric beams from a bulb. But no matter how much we flap our wings and stretch hands, we still fall short. Why? Because at the end of the day we are after all imperfect. I remember a few months ago, when I had to rush for an appointment. I had no time to put makeup on or even apply it in the car, so I ended up giving a presentation bare-faced, and all the while thinking “ugh, I look so ugly today”. This thought kept going through my mind, over and over and over…until it stopped it and asked myself “Is it makeup that makes me fine?” A part of me answered yes, but a smaller part still wondered. The true answer to that question was to be delivered the next day when I consciously decided to go out without makeup. I’m not going to sugar coat it – it was difficult. But after 2 days of adjusting my eyes to my reflection on my laptop screen, car windows and other people’s eyes, I started to appreciate my small nose, ‘Chinese’ eyes, full brows and round face. I started to claim myself. I worked on taking care of my skin and I gained a new sense of acceptance I never knew was. So here’s my Panadol to help with some of the ache of self-acceptance. I recommend taking a break from makeup. I know all too well that there are a few who would rather stand in the shadows than let the world see their ‘real face’.
In fact, you’re the reason I write this post today. But I believe if you give this post some thought, I might be able to convince you to step into the light and start embracing your skin as it is. I also believe not wearing makeup is raising your hand above your head and “Claiming of Yourself”! The first time I saw this statement, it was staring at me from a quote by Alicia Keys. Being the new Patron Saint of not wearing makeup, she shared some real lessons she had learned about herself in her year-long no-makeup hiatus. And I agree with her. Being able to step out into the world without makeup has more power than you think. In fact, it falls in the category of being able to smile – it seems so minute, but speaks volume! It is you telling the world “this is me”. Not the ‘all covered up & dolled up’ me…but the real me. It exudes a type of confidence, a knowing even, an acceptance that everyone has access to. It is stepping off a cliff after a voice below has told you it’s okay to. It is baring yourself ignorantly and consciously to the world to save you from yourself. It is about loving your reflection, regardless of what social media preaches. It’s not about whether you wear heavy makeup, a little makeup or no makeup at all, but about being able to break away from what has become regular programming, to be and do what feels right to you.
The question remains – are you wearing makeup because you love it or because you don’t like yourself without it? And when you do not have makeup on, how do you feel?
Jennifer Obiuwevbi is a Beauty Enthusiast, Founder of Beauty Relations brand, Pen-Shy Relations & a writer based in Abuja. She loves to write, read, travel and sit quietly in open spaces. But loves ice cream cake & family above them all! Find her on social media – @MissPenshy | @PenShyRelations