[This was written late Monday night and does not include the epic events of Tuesday. My reflections on today will be posted later tonight.]
Blogger Rachel Rabbit White (who also happens to be my cousin) has proposed a daring idea for this week: She has declared September 20-27 No Make-Up Week. She is encouraging bloggers to post photos of themselves without make-up, but Rabbit is taking it a step further—she is living her life this week sans make-up. I’ve been inspired to do the same. This is where I will chronicle my experience. (To learn more about No Makeup Week, click here.)
Monday, September 20—Day One
I have to be honest. I was NOT looking forward to going through with this challenge. I have these “rules” about makeup. I am a pale, Scandinavian girl and I fear that if I go out bare-faced, I will look sickly or tired. Even if I’m just running to grab a Slurpee or fill a prescription at the pharmacy, I need to be wearing, at the very least, the following: under-eye concealer, mascara, eyebrow pencil, and some kind of lip stuff. The same rules apply for going to school. If I'm going out to a movie or to dinner or anywhere "social," I MUST have a full face of make-up; I must look pretty or sexy or glamorous. If I’m not wearing make-up, I am uncomfotable and feel as though everyone in the room is staring at the girl with no makeup.
Even worse than the rules for wearing makeup in public are the rules for being photographed. I MUST be wearing a full face in a photograph in order to be satisfied with the image. If I am taking a photograph of myself (Myspace-syle, kids), I must be wearing FRESHLY APPLIED makeup. It’s completely cray-cray.
So imagine how I must have felt preparing to take my Official No Makeup Week photo. I was not thrilled to bare my true face for the camera. Naked, exposed, and just not myself. I found that I couldn’t smile the way I normally do. I couldn’t play cute. I couldn’t have a good time. I was afraid of seeing what the camera was going to capture, what exposed flaws would be digitally immortalized.
When I uploaded the photos onto my laptop, I was pleasantly surprised. My skin was still just as porcelain-like without powder or concealer. My eyes were still big and blue without the enhancement of black liquid liner and mascara. I actually felt good about posting that photo on Facebook and Twitter.
My morning prep for school was a bit shorter without make-up application (not too much shorter; I don’t go full-on glam for school and I can put on a face fairly quickly). But still, a bonus. The few people I interacted with in the Forensics office noticed that I was sans-makeup. “You look younger.” “It’s more…fresh.” “Hey! No Make-up! You look really good.” It made me feel good, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but think about how noticeable the difference must have been. Does my face change that much with make-up? Just how different do I look? How different do I become?
I’ll continue to address questions about myself and my identity through the lens of make-up as the week progresses. For now, I'm...adjusting.