Thursday, February 6, 2014


I watched this video a little over a month ago.
I thought it was a great concept and absolutely loved the whole thing,
but the thing that stuck with me the most is the mom that trying to convince her daughter to wear makeup.

If you don't know, I rarely wear makeup.
It's been something I've been wanting to write about for a while.

Through most of middle school and high school, I rarely wore makeup.
I never saw the need to.
Makeup was something for special occasions or on those days I felt like playing dress up.
Not for everyday use.
I didn't think it was weird that I chose not to wear it, 
and I didn't think it was weird that other girls chose to wear it.

But then by Junior and Senior year of high school, other people girls really started to notice.
They asked to put makeup on me, treating me like a doll.
I didn't mind, as I said makeup = dress up in my mind,
but to them it was something more.
They insisted that to get boys to notice me I had to wear it.
"If you add concealer, any skin imperfections can be hidden.
If you add base, suddenly your skin looks smooth and even,
but that looks unnatural, so lets add blush and bronzer to add back life into your face.
Lips more pink, eyelashes darker, eye shadow to make your eyes look brighter,
and tada! Now you look pretty."

They told me I looked so much pretty with it on,
but the thing is I knew better.

Since 7th grade, my best friends had been guys.
I knew most boys didn't care.
Out of all the years of being friends with guys, only one guy has ever admitted that he likes a little bit of makeup for everyday wear better than none.
Many of the others would remind me that I didn't have to wear it or would tell me they didn't like it when I wore it.

Those girls weren't just wearing it for the guys they liked,
they wore it for everyone, even themselves.
It was like only once they put on the layers of makeup,
they were finally someone that they could stand to be to the outside world.
I always thought the "goths" and "emo" kids were bit more authentic than most people.
Many of my friends in those cliques would admit that their makeup was big way they expressed their identity.
They would express how they were feeling through how they looked.

But when you apply that to more "normal" girls,
the look isn't "emo" or "goth"'s perfection.
 "Now you look pretty!"
Pretty? I think I looked pretty before.
The word I think that fits it better is "perfect."
Makeup put on correctly can take out many physical imperfections.
"Perfect" and "flawless" were the adjectives they were looking for.
It's the identity that they were striving for.

Now, I actually I don't have a problem with wanting to look flawless.
It can be empowering and fun.
The thing that sadden me most was when some of my friends were ashamed to be seen with out that mask of makeup.
Their own face wasn't good enough anymore.
It was embarrassing and shameful for their own bare faces to be seen.
They can't stand to see the flaws that make them unique 
and are horrified at the thought that someone else will see them as anything other than flawless.

My heart breaks a little at that thought.
This idea of perfection keeps them from loving themselves.
It feeds right into fat talk and self deprivation.
It takes away confidence and vulnerability.

That's what struck me about the video in the beginning of this blog post. 
If you compare the teenage girl's attitude about herself v. her mother's view of herself,
there are some huge differences.
I challenge you to watch it again and listen more carefully.

I don't wear makeup because I like who I am.
Why do you wear it?
Let me know if you have any comments or thoughts,
it's been something that has been on my mind for a while.


  1. I don't wear makeup everyday out of laziness. In high school I used to spend an hour getting ready every day, and I did feel better about myself because I was taking time to take care of myself. I think some of it is society saying I need to look flawless, and some of it is about just taking time to take care of yourself (even though it's a pain in the butt). Soo- I have mixed feelings about makeup.

    1. I too have mixed feelings. Most of the time I don't wear makeup because it is an extra step to getting out the door for 8 AM class. I also like how I look without it, and my husband does too. He likes me both ways. I feel a little more grown-up and fancy when I wear make-up. And I think in formal photos, some make-up helps a person photograph better. But sometimes it is just heavy and slimy feeling. I do like wearing lipstick though. Sometimes I just wear lipstick for the fun of it.

      Love, Mette

    2. I think that's what I don't get Ashley...for me taking care of myself is washing my face and slapping on sunscreen. :) Maybe I just missed out on that life lesson?

    3. Mette, I actually like lipstick, especially nudes, but Matt HATES it when I kiss him and it gets on him. :) Thanks both of you taking time to comment. :)

  2. This article is exactly how I feel! I wear makeup for special occasions, and wanting to look a little extra special but that's it! i have so many friends (mainly mission companions) that were absolutely horrified when they noticed that i didnt even where just mascara (it makes my eyes itch). i always would just shrug and say "make up doesn't define who i am" i know thats like saying "you let yourself be defined by a little box of facial powder" but really its true. thanks for sharing these feelings. im gonna share this! thank you!

    1. Thanks! I like that you said "makeup doesn't define who I am." It's true. And if I'm going to be defined by anything I'm would probably be my shoes or purse.

  3. Interesting video! Hadn't seen this video before.

    I rarely wear make-up. If I do, it is lipstick. I can't wear make-up to work due to particles and contamination of the silicon wafers we manufacture. I think make-up enhances eyes a lot! Make-up can be expensive. I know mascara should be changed every 3 months. An engineer once made a study on how many times the average women coats her eyelashes with mascara, usually 100 to 150 coats.Thus someone invented extensions . . . something else if you start, needs to be updated every six weeks.
    Beauty comes from so many different sources: attitudes, intelligence speech, compassion besides your natural physical features. You are truly beautiful, Michele.

    1. That's actually one of the big turn offs about makeup for me. I hate how much it cost. I rather eat at a restaurant or buy something for our house than makeup. And thanks!

  4. I never really liked the feeling of 'stuff' on my face, but mascara or other eye makeup makes my eyes itch, which makes me rub them, which makes me look like a raccoon. So you can imagine that I dropped that idea. Alas, I still don't like most photographs of myself--but my daughters (and daughters-in-law) and my granddaughters are so beautiful that it amazes me!

    1. I rubbed my eyes the very first time I wore makeup and a laurel ran me to the bathroom and fixed it. :)

  5. In New Hampshire, makeup wasn't culturally required. Because of this, those who wore make-up often had deep seated security problems that made them feel like they needed it.

    Almost all girls wear makeup in Utah for the reasons you describe. Prophetic counsel that you "cannot expect God to find you a spouse unless you do your part to make yourself look presentable" is often erroneously interpreted as a mandate for the girls to wear makeup. (I think it's more likely a mandate for the men to take showers and wash their hair.)

    When I came to BYU, I had a hard time being attracted to girls, because they all wore makeup! I saw them all as being insecure skin-deep materialists. It kinda scared me. I tried hard to get over it, but naturally gravitated to makeup-less girls. My eventual wife was one of the few I met who didn't wear makeup. She says she didn't wear it because she didn't like the "greasy feeling" that accompanied it. The one time she wore makeup on a date (to homecoming) it kinda scared me. She was excited to learn that I didn't like it. She mentioned that it makes her happy that she'll hardly ever have to worry about it again.

    I think we have makeup somewhere in our house, just in case we go to a function where it's socially required, but I'm honestly not sure...

    1. I forgot you felt this way about makeup too and yes, I also forgot that sometimes it is more of a cultural thing. That would be an interesting research study. :) I'm so glad that you found Emily. I wonder how you are doing often...I just assume you are the happiest you've been. Thanks for taking time to comment!

  6. Awesome article! Thank you! I, too, mostly go makeup-less! When I was little, my Dad told me that I was beautiful just the way I was. That has stuck with me for all these years, and even though I'd love to lose weight, or color my hair, I feel beautiful just the way I am - no enhancements needed! Thanks for a well thought out blog about being yourself! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for reading! I love hearing that the message came from your dad. I think it's wonderful that he made a point of telling you that.