People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
I would like to preface this entire post by declaring that I am not and have never been a girlie girl. I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure (I refuse to have people touch my feet); I get my hair trimmed maybe twice a year for under $20 each time; I keep my accessories simple and had been using the same handbag consistently for well over a year, until I just got a new one while in Guatemala. I just like to keep things simple. However, there was a time, which ended not more than a few years ago, when I would NOT even leave my house without a full face of makeup. Now, it’s not like I caked it on or anything, but I would not allow others to see me without at least a good coat of foundation.
Please don’t back out on reading this now because you think it’s a post about makeup.
My problem was my self image. Around my early high school years I developed a case of acne that didn’t really go away until I was almost thirty. Once I grew out of the awkward stage of body parts and facial features not quite fitting together in proportional solidarity, the acne came. One of the most devastating backhanded compliments I often heard was, “You’d be really pretty if you didn’t have acne.” Gee thanks. You’d be a nice person if you weren’t so inconsiderate. I would almost have rather had them just say I was ugly. At least then I’d have known where I stood. But knowing the only thing standing in my way of being “pretty” (and even if I was never a girlie girl, there isn’t a girl alive, no matter what she says, who does not want people to think she is pretty) was having some zits really hurt. I tried everything to gt rid of them.
My self esteem was shot and I barely wanted to show my face in public even with makeup, so going without was impossible. This way I could at least hide the more minor imperfections.
Then a huge challenge came along. Running. I’ve discussed this here before. I began running about three years ago for the purpose of raising money in a race, and then, as Nike suggested, I kept just doing it. A group of us would meet weekly for a run and I remember that it was a big deal that I was going to be not only sweaty and nasty in front of people, but makeup-less as well. Totally vulnerable and, in a way, exposed. The thing is… so was everybody else, and I didn’t notice people looking too carefully at my skin or anything. I know it seems silly if you’ve never gone through this but I had real issues when it came to this, so it was a hard obstacle to overcome.
I’ve finally come to understand real beauty, and though I still like to wear at least some minimalist foundation when possible, I’m not afraid of going without anymore.