BY RACHEL WONG
Based on my experience, girls in general tend to be a little more concerned with their appearance and self-presentation. From their hair to their clothes, make up to accessories, everything is meticulously planned and coordinated with the intention of showing off the best version of themselves.
I am no stranger to spending great lengths of time with my makeup, trying and re-trying outfits and making sure that everything looks just right. But when it comes to my motivation for trying to looking great, it is always for myself. I wear certain clothes and do my makeup a certain way for me, and not for anyone else.
I bring this up because I was confronted with this the other day. As I fixed my eyeliner in the school washroom, a girl that I would call an acquaintance asked me who I was trying to impress. She knew fully well that I am currently single, and in a very serious voice, she asked me if I was going out on a date, or if I was trying to pick someone up.
When I told her that it was none of the things that she mentioned, she didn’t believe me, and then went on to say that if I was confident enough in my own beauty, I should just go bare faced.
For context, I do have to credit this acquaintance of mine for having a wonderful bare face. She clearly wears no make up because she sees no need to – she is beautiful already, and that is her choice. I will commend her for that, as it probably saves her a lot of time in the morning, and that it is great that she is so confident in herself that she feels that she doesn’t need makeup.
However, it bugged me that she thought that I was not confident, and that my choice to use makeup was a way to cover my true self from the world.
Puberty was not particularly nice to me; it left me with tons of pimples, red spots, and scars from my overly eager fingers. It took me a long time to find a cleansing regimen that would work for my sensitive skin, as well as a make up regimen that was quick and not over the top. Did I lack confidence in the beginning? Probably. But did I grow out of that? Absolutely.
My choice to continue to wear makeup on a regular basis is not meant to impress anyone- guys, girls, or otherwise. I wear it for me. I wear it because it is fun to do and it makes me happy. It took me a long time to realize that my confidence and inner beauty are what really matters, and everything on the exterior is secondary. There are days when I get lazy and just walk out of the house without make up, and that is okay with me. Other times, when I have more time to spare, I can go more elaborate with my style. But otherwise, I usually stick to something relatively simple and easy. Whether I have it on or off, my confidence remains the same. My motivations remain the same.
Makeup can definitely be a confidence booster, but remember that your true beauty will shine through your actions and your kindness. Your choice to wear make up is yours and yours alone, and you never need to justify it. If it makes you happy, go for it – we are all beautiful in our own right.
Rachel Wong is a Communications and International Studies student at Simon Fraser University. Aside from Speak Out, Rachel is also a regular contributor for the Student Life Network and SFU’s student newspaper The Peak. She loves going on foodie adventures, kicking back with friends and telling other people’s stories – all while writing her own. Her dream is to read off a teleprompter for a living one day. Rachel hopes to help change the way society looks at mental illness, one word at a time. You can find more of Rachel’s work at http://rchlcwng.blogspot.com.