DAY ONE: It’s Day #1. No cosmetics. I’m sitting in my bedroom with my hair wet and clean around my shoulders, piano music playing behind me – buttoned shirt, ready for the office, save my face. It feels naked. It feels remarkably vulnerable, and the mirror in front me reads the same thought: I’m sleepy; my eyes are too small; I look older; I look pale, but mostly I have the overwhelming thought that I look tired. This has always been my personal facial setback: I fear my eyes are too tiny without make-up and eye shadow and mascara (definitely mascara) and so I am convinced, utterly convinced, that without such adjustments I will be forever seen as merely slipping from my bed a minute before arrival.
So why to not wearing cosmetics for one week?
Because why is it such a personal question to not do so?
Why are cosmetics the norm? The daily go-to? The expected?
Because why do they matter so much?
Because when did my mental image of myself switch from: this is my face, my natural-born, baby-faced face, living and breathing face to this-is-my-face-when-i-wear-makeup-and-that’s-what-i-really-look like?
Because what is make-up? Where did it come from? How is it made?
Here’s a quick video from Mary Kay on lipstick production. To the start of the journey, we begin with the words of Bridgette January, a woman who holds a PhD and is a manager for the Mary Kay Product Development Formula Lab: “You look in the mirror and it makes you feel good about yourself.” And it’s true! But why? And is this a ‘bad’ thing? Does it matter?
“A woman without paint is like food without salt.” |Plautus, Roman philosopher|
(a snapshot of oil paints, Minneapolis)