Friday, March 9, 2012

Makeup: Why I'm a Hippie

The look of realization that your mother is a
failure because you are on "Toddlers and Tiaras."
In grade eight I started wearing makeup. For three years I suffered under that dictator. My eyes always bothered me but I didn't want to face the reality that I was allergic to mascara. For most girls being allergic to mascara would be like saying you might as well wear a paper bag over your head. As I'm sure most girls know, if I ever went without makeup people thought I was sick. No, that's just me without makeup you insensitive jerk, naturally pale and sickly looking. Then at the end of grade ten I got pink-eye. Yes, folks. Pink-eye set me free. You see, when you have pink-eye, you can't wear mascara. Did someone pass gas into my pillow? Maybe. But all I know is I will be forever thankful for their flatulence. I remember going to school without makeup that first day and feeling like the whole world was looking at me. The whole world wasn't looking at me, but a few people were, and like the other times I'd gone to school without makeup they assumed I must be dying. But, miraculously, after a couple days no one noticed, they were too busy noticing I wasn't dead. And then I just kind of... didn't start wearing it again. For once my laziness was working for me! The next year I went to a different school where everyone just assumed I had always been a sickly child and kept it to themselves. It was like the Faith Identity, like the Bourne Identity, but starring me. I got a hair cut, told people I was an orphan who used to be in the circus and started calling myself by my middle name. Wait, hold up: if you know my middle name then you know you can't trust that last sentence. Unless maybe I shortened my middle name to "Seppy," in which case, the whole thing becomes believable again.

Now, I'm not against makeup, but when you are a teenage girl and harboring all those insecurities (teenage girl = insecurities) wearing makeup can so easily become a mask. I mean why else would you put all those chemical compounds on your face unless it included a fake nose and moustache? Not wearing makeup didn't mean I was suddenly confident, but it was one less thing I could hide behind. It became a statement, one where I said "Love me or leave me" and everyone left... Just kidding. But by default the not-getting-attention thing forced me to stop caring what people thought of me and snowballed into other great things like being more open about my faith and not trying so hard to get people to like me (in many ways I am sadly a lot like Michael Scott from The Office. To quote him: "Would I rather be feared or loved? Um... Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me"). A lot of people go through high school never really finding out just who they are or who they want to be. Pink-eye gave me that chance. And that's the story of how I gave up makeup and have never gone back since. Has it been detrimental to my romantic life? Probably. But I like to hold on to the false impression that my future husband will love me just the way I am. I have heard the argument that I should at least wear makeup to catch him and then once I've got him, SURPRISE! But I believe in low expectations, and if I don't set them for my husband, who will? Besides I was supposed to be born in the 1800's (see my blog post Tardiness) when they didn't even have makeup. (I just went to look up a history of cosmetics and found out that societies have been using cosmetics since 4000 BC. My bad. Then again, I don't know if lead, arsenic and sheep fat really count.)

What a little girl wearing makeup should look like.
I still wear makeup for special occasion. That's how you know whether the occasion is special or not: if Faith isn't wearing makeup, it didn't make the cut. Go get more balloons. But whenever I do wear makeup I am reminded once again why I hate it. You have to wear waterproof mascara in case it rains or you suddenly find the need to cry in public, and then you have to use baby oil to get it off if you are too cheap to buy real makeup-remover and then your eyesight is all blurry from the oil in your eyes (if this doesn't happen to you, pretend I never said anything). Plus, when you wear makeup you can't rub your eyes the way babies get to when they are sleepy, and that is just a crime people. There is a reason babies do that. And that is why "Toddlers in Tiaras" is so very, very sad. It embodies what our society teaches girls about superficial beauty, only now not even their childhood is safe. When I do wear makeup I have to be careful that I don't start putting on airs and turn into movie-star-attention-seeking-Faith. To combat that I like to interrogate makeup-me in the mirror with things like, "Who do you think you are anyway? What are you trying to prove? Alright, spit it out. Who is he?" And makeup-me always blurts it out because she is a Big Mouth Betty too. Not wearing makeup taught me something I might never have learnt if I had kept the gig up: there is great satisfaction in coming to enjoy the way you look without makeup just as much as you do with makeup. Which doesn't mean I always enjoy my face, but it's my face. For better or worse. Mostly for worse. And that's when it hit me: I must be a hippie. Because when other girls think makeup, they think of the harmless desire to make themselves look pretty. When I think of makeup, I think, "Society is telling me that my face needs to be upgraded." Well, guess what. My mom says Faith 1.0 is the best version ever. Actually my mom tries to make me wear makeup and I shake my head at her slowly and say, "What kind of mother are you..." and she feels guilty and superficial and I gloat in my self-righteousness.

You've probably seen it, but it's just so darn good:

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