"Pretty Lil' Heart" is a song off of Robin Thicke's album Love After War which I LOVED by the way. If you are a new Robin Thicke fan, I suggest checking it out. I don't think his talent as a songwriter comes across on this new record as it did on the one before it. Yeah I have mixed feelings about that.
|Oh Drake. You are far too kind.|
Until recently (and by recently I mean two days ago) I would have never gone out in public without makeup on- not even the gym. Now I am not going to the gym with a face beat down with MAC Studio Fix and contoured cheek bones. However even in the earliest times of the day, I would not have thought to leave my house without some sort of concealer, some powder, a little mascara, a bit of eyebrow pencil and some lip gloss. Look just because I go to to the gym to get worn out doesn't mean I have to entirely look like it. If we are going to be completely honest, being naturally pretty is just not in the cards for all women. I didn't happen to get the effortlessly naturally pretty card. I got dealt some pretty good stuff. Being naturally pretty is one card that I did not get dealt.
And that is quite alright.
Let's be clear: I don't mean any of this in a self deprecating way. Not one bit. There are just certain things you come to accept in life. I've accepted that without makeup my dark circles and puffiness under my eyes tell my age. I accept that if left on a deserted island for a month without any form of facial hair removal, a rescue team may be surprised to find that what looks like a short curly afro'd bearded man is actually a young woman in her late thirties. It's just real life! And although these are things that I feel I have taken with a grain of salt in my adult years, there is a quote by Erin McKean that I recently came across that changed the game for me as far as what I think about being pretty even with makeup on:
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.”- From Erin McKean's blog A Dress A Day (please read the rest of what she had to say. It's incredible.)
You don't owe it to anyone to be pretty.
When I read this for the first time, my mind immediately went back to all of the times I was headed out somewhere and would repeatedly and maniacally check my face in the mirror wishing I could get my eyeliner just right; taking selfies with my phone that I would never post because I wanted to make sure that my face looked acceptable in what I like to call the Instagram Second Life World (lighting can be a monster!) I thought to myself "Who cares if I never quite get my face just right? Who cares if I miss the mark with my lipstick or my eyebrows or anything that has to do with my exterior? Who cares if I come across as pretty enough to other people?"
- I owe it to this world to be smart.
- I owe it to this world to live up to my potential.
- I owe it to this world to live healthy.
- I owe it to this world to be kind.
- I owe it to this world to love people without prejudice.
I don't owe it to ANYONE to be pretty.
When I read this quote I instantly became more comfortable with myself. It's not that I've stopped caring about my looks of course. I have just stopped caring about the approval of my looks. Being seen without makeup or trying to get my face just right just doesn't really matter too much to me anymore. It doesn't matter to the point that the other day while running errands and recovering from having a wisdom tooth pulled, I went to the mall in the middle of the day without an ounce of makeup on. Not a stitch. All I had on was some coconut oil. I had run out of moisturizer and needed to make my way to Kiehl's to get some more because it was Friday Rodriguez*.
*For those that don't know, Friday Rodriguez is payday. The only thing that I find more exciting than Adam Rodriguez is payday. The only thing more exciting than that would be to actually run into Adam Rodriguez ON payday. Moving on...
This was not a flippant decision. I washed my face that morning and stared at it for quite some time. It had been a long time since I had really taken a look at my face without makeup. Usually I just wash, pluck, conceal and go. But this time I actually took some time to get to know my face. One thing I noticed is that since I have been juicing my skin is a lot brighter. I noticed more of a golden undertone. It was shining, not just due to the coconut oil, and it is the healthiest it has been in a long time. I chose to ignore the scab on my face from a pimple extraction gone terribly wrong, some ingrown chin hairs, some wacky brow hairs gone awry, and the discoloration around my eyes. For a split second I thought about putting just some concealer and powder on but then I thought to myself that I owe it to my skin to let it breathe. It didn't need to be weighed down with products for the sake of my trying to look "presentable" in public that day. So naked to the world I left the house.
I stopped off at the MAC counter to turn in my recyclables (which is my FAVORITE thing about MAC Cosmetics. Bring in 6 empty containers and you can get a free lipstick!) and looked for a new lipstick color. As I walked towards the mirror to check out my Cyber/Ruby Woo combination, I was reminded on how telling the mirrors at MAC can truly be. They tell ALL your business. I looked in the mirror and surprisingly, the first things to stand out to me weren't my flaws. I saw happiness. My EYES looked happy. This was no doubt because I had taken off from both jobs for a few days to get my wisdom tooth out and was finally getting some dire needed rest. "Heeeeeey pretty girl!" I thought as I chuckled to myself. As much of a hassle as it has been getting my wisdom tooth taken care of, the time off for recovery could not have come at a better time. Apparently, I needed some happiness recovery as well. Happiness on the inside can't help but push through as beauty on the outside.
That's what really matters now. How happy am I on the inside? My face could be "beat for the gods" but if I am unhappy, worn out and stressed out on the inside, no amount of makeup or technique could ever really make me feel satisfied with how I look. I still love makeup. I'm still wanting to achieve my flawless 10 minute face. But the kind of beauty I want to show people is the kind of beauty that comes from being happy and healthy inside and that only comes from loving and taking care of myself more.
So no you don't owe it to anyone to be pretty. You have a lot more to offer the world than that. Furthermore, no one owes it to you to be pretty either so stop feeding into these stupid tabloids that want to post pictures and mock famous people who want to leave their house without makeup too. It's ridiculous how we judge people when we think they should look a certain way for us just because they're famous. We as women need to lighten up on our expectations of ourselves and each other. Now THAT we owe.