happy to be me

during this past year, i made a decision to flat out stop wearing make-up. this was not exactly easy for me-even though i didn’t wear a whole lot to start with, but it has been one of the most freeing experiences ever. one of my reasons for doing so was that i found that most conventional cosmetics contain some really bad stuff- and not only that- the production of it can have some negative effects on the environment, not to mention most companies do animal testing. i asked myself why i was bringing potential harm to myself just to look the way society thinks i should look, which was my next reason for quitting.

i have this friend who is probably one of the most impeccably dressed and groomed women i have ever known. i am not kidding. her hair is always sprayed to perfection, her lipstick (which somehow never gets on her teeth) matches her clothes, which match her shoes, which match her purse, which matches her toenails. it’s such a vicious cycle that it is actually almost ridiculous. i’m a much more care-free dresser. i have never been a big one for fancy clothes- the only expensive articles of clothing i have are a North Face jacket and a pair of Merrell boots.  i do like to shop, but i don’t do malls or department stores. Target usually suffices for all my wardrobe needs. it’s kind of scary…i’m almost like – gasp – a guy. so yes, needless to say that i usually feel pretty dumpy in my friend’s presence. but this all changed one day when i stopped by her house. a strange woman came to the door. as i got closer, i realized that it was, in fact ,my friend, only without her face on. it was almost horrifying. her make-up literally makes her look 10 years younger than she actually is. without it, her lips were pale, she had bags under her eyes and wrinkles all over her face, her eyes looked shriveled and small, and even her hair was flat and looked due for a color touch-up. of course, she never emerges from the house looking like this. it’s not that she wasn’t still pretty, it’s just that she usually looks like a paint-by-numbers picture. i felt in that instant that i really didn’t know my friend at all, she was hiding who she really was. and i felt really sad for her.

i realized then and there that i wanted people to see the real me all the time. i don’t want people to wonder where my face went. there is no reason for me to hide. God made me who i am, and even if nobody else finds me beautiful, i know that God does. i would much rather be able to stand in the rain without mascara running down my face, to eat a popsicle without wondering whether my lipstick is coming off, to finger pick my guitar with no worry that my nail polish is going to chip, to run and be able to sweat (i love to sweat).

i’ll admit-it was hard at first, to go out looking like casper the ghost. i had some insecurities to work through. i know i’ll never be a goddess, but now i am just happy to be me.

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