(Written on Thursday, June 28, 2012)
In the shower this morning, I was thinking about my decision to avoid eating lunch in public yesterday, and something about it was really bothering me. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t avoiding seeing people I know just because I am ashamed of my naked face. There was more to it than that, but I wasn’t sure what.
After I finished drying my hair, I got to thinking about where I would go to do the morning-part of my work. (I work best when there is food and coffee readily available.) Usually I go to Sally Loos, because the coffee and food is BOMB, and I like the atmosphere. But today, I decided to stay in (again), and that’s when I got to thinking: how much of where I go is determined by what I look like? On the flip-side of hiding from people I know because I don’t like my face, there’s this: am I going out in public because my face looks pretty? Am I showing off or something? Yikes.
Now, don’t misunderstand me on this one: I’m certainly not getting super dolled-up every day, just to go to all my favorite local haunts preening in front of strangers and acquaintances. I’m no Kardashian. If you know me at all, you know that my standard makeup MO is to appear as natural as possible. I’ve never been one of those ladies who looks like she’s wearing a lot of makeup. But, isn’t that a little bit worse? A little more deceptive? Diligently applying makeup in order to give the appearance that I’m naturally poreless? Kinda sketchy now that I look back on it (you know, with a whole TWO DAYS worth of hindsight and wisdom and perspective).
So no, I wasn’t showing-off in a show-offy way, but in a somewhat more pathetic, somewhat more self-satisfied way. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I do so much of my work outside the office is because I like to be seen looking nice. And it pains me to say that in public. I care so much about how other people see me, even strangers, and I’ve placed so much of my value in being recognized as pretty. It’s really humbling to stare so directly at my flaws, both character and physical, and it’s hard to not feel compelled to cover them up.
I’m glad that putting some much-needed distance between me and my makeup bag is already revealing some handicaps in my character, but I’m not going to lie: I’d rather you all didn’t know I’m so shallow.
Even now, after recognizing that I care way too much how people see me, my primary concern is that people don’t think I’m too shallow. When will I stop caring how people see me? And where is God in all of this? Why can’t I look to him first, like, ever? Why is it so natural for me to seek first the approval of others? I really, really want that to change.
We did some filming at work today, so I had to “put my face on,” and a funny thing happened: I really didn’t like my “made-up” face. It just looked…wrong. Like I was trying too hard. So, when I was done shooting, I went into the bathroom and washed off the makeup (just like I promised I would, y’all!), and it was actually somewhat relieving to get that stuff off of my face. Not that I like my naked face any better, because I don’t. But still. Washing it off felt good.
2 days down, 38 to go! Have any of you started going makeup-less? Tell me all about it!
For details on the “Fresh-Faced for 40 Days” makeup fast, check out this post.
Please join me! You can participate as passively as cheering me along (I will need lots of encouragement), or as actively as joining me in fasting from makeup for the full 40 days. I would love to have some ladies on this journey with me! If you’re interested in joining me, I’ve made a Facebook group where we can keep each other updated on our progress, post links to our blog posts, and generally hold each other accountable. Obviously, we’ll all be starting on different days, so it’ll be fun to cheer each other on through the different stages.
Or, you can just subscribe to my blog over there in the sidebar, or follow me on twitter @melissajenna.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to share them. I always love hearing what you guys have to say.