Thursday, March 15, 2012

decorating the window (to the soul)

As an adult, my first foray into fashion was through make-up. Mostly, this was because I wasn't happy with my body size and, lets be honest, eyeliner is much more forgiving than clothing. It also let me play around with colours, application techniques, and lots of new and different looks. I like it. I do it every day that I leave the house for more than a dogwalk or a trip to the corner store. (Lies. I went to the grocery store today with no makeup.)

I don't leave the house without make up on, generally.

Let's think about that for a minute. I do not leave the house in my bare skin. At the very least, if I'm running out more than twenty steps past my front door there is mascara and eyeliner and tinted moisturizer. More often than not, there's a whole face done up. I feel "naked" without it. Does that mean that I'm not comfortable in my own skin??

Why do I wear it? Really, I think it's important to know why I wear make-up so much. So let's run down.
  • It makes me feel more polished and presentable
  • I like playing with colours
  • I feel prettier with makeup on, as long as it's not overdone
  • It's fun to do my makeup
  • I enjoy putting it on, the habit and ritual is nice
  • It also clearly marks in my mind that I'm leaving the house and should put my best foot forward
  • I feel more confident when my skin tone appears more even
  • It make me feel more feminine
  • I feel like I look boyish without it
Most of those things don't bother me. I'm ok with acknowledging that I feel more comfortable with that little bit of armour. It's pretty similar to feeling more confident in a great dress or a jacket that makes me feel like a million bucks.

Some of those aspects bother me. Feeling that I don't look like a woman - what does that even mean? It's crazy. I am a woman. It's kind of hard to miss. I have the hips, I have big boobs, I have curves and shape and clearly my body says "woman". I'm capable of looking into a random mirror some days and saying "take that, Jessica Rabbit" because I just think I look that smokin'. And yet, on a bad day, I look in the mirror when I have my hair pulled back and I see "boy". That bothers me. I sit there thinking, if my face were a little more angled or if my cheeks were a little thinner I'd look more like a woman.

What the fuck? My face shape makes me feel masculine? So I hide that under some mascara and layers of eye shadow to specify the "feminine"? It's so silly. Does my definition of pretty mean feminine? I hope not, and I don't think it does. I know some very androgynous women, and I think they are gorgeous. I know some overly feminine women who I don't think are particularly pretty.

So why does it bother me so much on the days that I look in the mirror and see more that is masculine than feminine?

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