HD brows, Instagram, and other scary things about people’s faces..

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So I’m like a no make up – make up kinda chick. I like my make up to be the type of make up where girls whisper to their friends “Is she wearing make up?” “Nah girl, don’t think so, I heard she’s vegetarian, she probably just has really good skin..” (I don’t by the way),  when in fact I am wearing a well applied coating of Lancome’s Teint miracle foundation, bronzer, blush, lip gloss, mascara and eyebrow pencil. No shade to those who are full face make up kinda chicks. Actually, tell a lie, this whole post is probably gonna be shade (just a lil’).

I’m not a big fan of social media either. That might seem strange to my Facebook friends, Twitter compatriots and LinkedIn colleagues, but really, really, if you look closely, I have minimal pictures of myself on Facebook, regularly deactivate, and tweet possibly once every 2 days.  In fact, I actually want to unfriend my real friends from LinkedIn because I like to  compartmentalise my life, and having my real life friends on a professional social network is disconcerting for me.

Anyway, one of the things I do find fascinating about social media is the high levels of deception that women (and some men), have the opportunity to exercise. I’m kinda a new born babe in the make up universe. I mean I have dabbled, but was pretty much lightweight until recently. I bought my first liquid foundation this year, and have spent the whole year on a continual childish high of fascination at the various ways youtube has taught me to transform myself into a Kelly Rowland lookalike . Who knew that with a paintbox filled with a variety of shades of brown paint, with some reddish plum tones thrown in for good measure, you could go from Precious to Beyonce?

Instagram is now choc a bloc with make up idols, women who have reached Picasso like levels of talent, wielding nothing but a an eyebrow pencil and a palette of Sleek eyeshadow. It’s impressive, I tell you. It’s also slightly scary. I’ve watched youtube videos where I’ve literally screamed when I saw the woman wipe off her make up. Not because the woman was even particularly unattractive, but because it was like watching a scene from Animorphs. There she was, fully human, and with one fell swoop of a baby wipe an unrecognisable creature sat before me. The difference was THAT shocking. I’m all for self improvement as much as the next person, but I’m beginning to think that our modern obsession with physical perfection has really gone too far.

We no longer accept that only celebrities with teams of make up artists, stylists and nostril hair arrangers are going to look perfect all the time. Women who have full time regular jobs, children, and hungry husbands are now buying into the myth that it is possible to cartwheel through life on a grassy plain of immaculateness. And that if it’s not possible, they’re going to spend excessive amounts of time and money trying. That is super problematic, especially in an age where many women pride themselves on being independent, self sufficient and free from the shackles of patriarchy. Lets face it, a  lot of women (although they deny it) are fairly concerned with whether they’re attractive to the opposite sex. They know that the celebrities that most men find attractive are caked in make up, have weave longer than the Amazon river, and work out about once every 15 minutes to get the super amazing look that’s plastered on every billboard and magazine. Never mind the fact that most men wouldn’t really appreciate these women in real life.

Now don’t get me wrong, make up is fun. I think a lot of men think that women only wear make up to cover insecurities, and that’s simply not true. For a lot of us, it’s part of the way we make ourselves feel good in the morning, like doing our hair or putting on a nice outfit. I know plenty of women who are happy to not wear makeup – me for instance. if you took away my make up for a week, I wouldn’t cry or hide behind postboxes in public places. But there are some women who would practically wear a Lidl’s bag over their head than be caught dead going any where further than the corner shop without makeup.

I’m a big proponent of natural beauty, but I’m also a big proponent of women doing what makes them feel comfortable in terms of their appearance without being ‘judged’. Having said that, I think it’s really important that before we modify ourselves, we ask ourselves hard questions about WHY we do what we do?  Why are you uncomfortable with your naturally curly hair? Why do you feel like unshaved legs are gross, when 100 ago years women wouldn’t have batted an eyelid? Why do you have HD brows, when they clearly look ridiculous? (sorry, that was a judgement, couldn’t help myself). Why can’t you leave the house without makeup?

I think we’re all caught up in a strange cycle of being envious of what’s not even real. Imagine if all the women in the world, including celebrities, refused to wear makeup for a week and didn’t shave their legs? I think we would all breathe a collective sigh of relief in realising that we all have things we don’t like about ourselves – it’s ok to put on our best face, it’s even better to do it with the knowledge that our not so best face is ok too.

Peace and Love guys x

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