Here at Faviana we are all about empowering women and for some men and women, makeup has the power to do that. There is no rule forcing you to wear makeup, especially if you are a girl, but societal standards have shaped how people feel they should present themselves. While I have a healthier relationship with makeup now, it was not always like that.
Makeup In The Beginning
My first experience with makeup started when I was a young girl and would watch my mom put it on before work. I was always curious about why she was putting all of these different products on her face and what they were doing for her. She put it on so much that I came to believe that “big” girls had to put it on before leaving the house. While my mom told me I was too young to wear makeup, I saw actresses on Disney Channel like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez who were nearly my age and they looked absolutely beautiful. I idolized them because I thought they were so pretty and that there was no way I could ever compare. Since my mom told me that young girls don’t wear makeup, I thought they just looked that pretty when I was so dull and lifeless.
During elementary school, the girls whose parents allowed them to wear lip gloss were idolized because they were now prettier than the rest of us. All of the boys and girls wanted to be friends with them. Wearing makeup almost signaled a kind of popularity status and if you didn’t wear it, then you weren’t one of the “popular kids.” I wasn’t popular in elementary school because I didn’t wear it and because I was nerdy so the two went hand in hand.
Starting To Wear Makeup
As I became a teenager, my mom finally let me wear makeup. I was enthusiastic because now I had the chance to become one of the popular kids that people would idolize. I didn’t have an extensive knowledge of glitz and glamour at this point, but I wore light eyeshadow, mascara, blush, and lipstick. I started to watch makeup artists on YouTube such as Manny MUA, Jaclyn Hill and Jeffree Star who really inspired me to take risks with makeup and try new looks that I never would have thought of doing. I would go to Sephora and spend hundreds of dollars on different eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks and then I would go directly to my room and follow different tutorials for hours until I did it just right. I fell in love with makeup and it wasn’t because I was wearing it to be accepted by other people. I just loved wearing different colors and glitter all the time so that is exactly what I did.
Not Wearing Makeup Anymore
At this point in my life, I became more observant of the people around me and started to understand how other women thought of makeup and it was very different from me. I love my mother so much, but some of the language she used to describe putting on makeup, I believe led me to having an unhealthy relationship with it. Before we would go out she would say “I need to go fix my face” or “let me go put on some mascara real quick.” I realized that she was implying her normal face wasn’t good enough and it required some adjustments in order to live up to societal expectations of beauty. I realized that it was not only my mom who thought this way, but most women who wore makeup wore it to impress other people . Shortly after I came to this realization, I decided that I wasn’t going to wear it anymore. I didn’t want society to dictate why I wore makeup and I didn’t want to be categorized with the women who solely wore it to impress boys.
At first it was extremely difficult for me to leave the house without makeup because I thought people would judge me since they were so used to seeing me with it on. I made up excuses for why I thought I needed it like that I will have no energy unless I wear it or that my grades would drop if I stopped wearing it. It was at this point that my parents were concerned because I was not leaving my house at all out of fear and they decided to get me some help.
Therapy And Self Esteem
I was completely opposed to going to therapy because I thought there was nothing that this stranger could tell me that would make me think differently. After a few sessions, I realized that the makeup has absolutely no correlation with my beauty and success. Those unrealistic standards were placed into my head by society and I just needed another perspective in order to realize them.
After therapy ended, I had no problem leaving the house without makeup on because I knew that I was the same person whether I was wearing it or not. It was during this time in my life that I felt the most confident in myself which seems contradictory to what other people report, but after a long time of self-reflection, I realized it was the thoughts I had about makeup that were making me irritated. I could now leave the house without wearing it and live my life normally without having that extra burden.
My Current Relationship With Makeup
My current relationship with makeup is complicated. I normally don’t put it on to go to the store or when I am hanging out with friends. Makeup is more of a hobby for me and I usually only like to wear it when I am in Disney World or at a concert. I will wear makeup to work to color coordinate with the clothes I am wearing but it is not to impress my co-workers. I wear makeup for myself only. I do not let anyone dictate what I do to my face. That is for me to decide, not you. If it makes you feel more confident, wear it. If you don’t like it, don’t wear it. There are no rules on how to wear it. Wear what you want.