Something a Little Radical

I did something last night that I’ve never done in my almost 10 years on Facebook (or in my years on MySpace before that). Here’s a hint:

Here’s another hint: it’s not about what you see as much as it’s about what you don’t see. 

In the grand scheme of things, particularly in a post-Trump world, makeup is a pretty trivial thing. I get that. But in its own way, makeup can be political.

I started wearing makeup in public in 6th grade. Every morning I got up extra early so I could do my hair and apply makeup before school. As an adult, I often go makeup-free, but never for events and ABSOLUTELY NEVER for pictures. 

And I know I’m not the only one. There was actually a thread in a hair group I belong to on Facebook discussing how almost all of us ended up posting apologies or disclaimers whenever we weren’t wearing makeup in a hair pic. As if our actual bare faces were somehow not good enough or offensive. 

Makeup is often a double-edged sword for women. Wear too much and you’re hiding behind a mask or you’re fake and superficial. Wear too little, and you’re messy or unfeminine or an angry man-hating feminist. 

In this respect, makeup (or a lack thereof) is just another side of dichotomy that women are so often forced into. The specific dichotomy shifts–girly vs. butch, good vs. bad, virgin vs. whore–but the idea that we must fall neatly into one category or the other remains the same. And as much as most of us fight it, the truth is that it’s really challenging to move past it. 

I like to consider my first ever entirely makeup-free profile picture to be a step in the right direction. And PS, it’s also filter-free. As much as I loved how I looked with some of the filters I tried, I thought it felt most appropriate that my first bare-faced profile picture was as honest as possible.