Eye Chose Wrong
I started wearing makeup in the seventh grade. I don’t recall feeling ugly without it, but I do recall wearing it because everyone else was. My first ever makeup routine, before contouring existed, consisted of heavy eyeliner and heavy mascara designed to meet the cultural beauty standard of large, sexy eyes. When I got to high school, my makeup game upgraded to eye shadow and bronzer.
One day I entered my English class with less makeup on. My teacher, a kind, middle aged woman that we all considered a second mom, said, “Oh my God, you look beautiful.”
I was shocked.
She persisted, “There’s something different about you today, what is it?” She came in closer and then we figured it out; I wasn’t wearing makeup on the bottom of my eyes. She told me it opened up my whole face and never to wear bottom lid makeup again. It can be cool when people give beauty advice, but there’s no obligation to take it, as it is your body, your temple. While I was flattered, I continued with my normal, heavy eye makeup routine for some time after that. Frankly, I had a difficult time believing that doing something different than the cultural standard was beautiful.
One day it hit me that with my already large eyes and pale face, my “chosen” makeup routine had me looking like a raccoon. But that wasn’t the only thing that hit me. I discovered that my chosen makeup routine was not a result of what I really liked, but what society liked.
I wore heavy eye makeup for years to accentuate my eyes because that’s what everyone else was doing. I was trying to uphold the cultural standard for beauty. The crazy part is I was never truly happy with that makeup routine, but ignorantly complacent with fitting in with everyone else's look.
What I really learned from my English teacher is that beauty comes in different forms and everyone’s face is different. Therefore, it’s absurd to alter your face according to one standard and really, absurd to alter your face at all because you feel you have to keep up with a standard.
I now know how beautiful I am, inside and out, with and without makeup and that true beauty comes from being yourself and doing what makes you happy. True beauty comes from finding a routine that makes you feel confident, happy and beautiful in your temple. True beauty comes from expressing yourself as you please and jamming out with your clam out!