I've noticed something lately that hurts my heart.
I'll be scrolling through instagram or reading a blog and there will be a lovely picture of one of my friends. And in the caption it'll say something like "forgive my lack of makeup" or "sorry I look gross, no makeup."
I will tell all of you, right now -- even if I've never met you, even if I don't know what you look like --
You don't need makeup to be beautiful.
You are lovely. You are gorgeous. If you're smiling, if you're joyful -- that shows through, and who could not admire your joy?
But more importantly, you are a wonderful person, one who cares about others, who loves and is loved, who is pushing through life in a world that is a mess of the difficult and the amazing and challenges and struggle and loneliness and love, and you are doing the best you can. And you're probably doing a freaking good job. And that is beautiful.
I think maybe this pattern is yet another symptom of social media. We see other people who seem to have it all together and think, dang. I want to be HER.
We're always striving to be better, more exciting, more perfect -- more beautiful. And our society has crafted a very particular image of beauty (thin, but still with boobs and a butt, but not too big of a butt; tall with long legs; sleek, straight hair; perfect, clear, tan skin; pouty lips; long eyelashes...).
But I think real is always most beautiful. So if society's idea of beauty describes you -- that's awesome. But if it doesn't, you are still beautiful. You are still lovable and desirable and lovely and gorgeous and BEAUTIFUL.
One of my all time favorite bloggers (Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point) also runs an organization/website/movement called Operation Beautiful. The goal of this movement is to end negative self talk and help people love themselves, through one positive note at a time. Lately, I've seen Operation Beautiful tweeting about No Makeup Mondays. They challenge readers to go makeup-less on Mondays, send in pictures, and think about how you feel without makeup.
I am wearing makeup today. I hadn't read the full post and thought it ended with the picture, not realizing it was about the whole day -- but. Here is me, without makeup.
I don't want to come off as preachy. I definitely don't have my life all together, and I try to create a realistic portrayal of both my successes and my struggles here on my blog.
I wear makeup. For many reasons. I think it's fun to play with. It helps me feel more professional, since I work with students only a few years younger than I am and am often mistaken as being an undergraduate. And I love to do something different for special occasions.
And yes, makeup can make me feel pretty. And occasionally, I do feel like I need makeup.
But I think I -- and you!!! -- am pretty without makeup, too. Just me, just the way I am.
I hope that if you're not in that place, someday you can get there. Because you are beautiful.
If this is something you struggle with, I'd encourage you to go without makeup for a day, for a few hours. For a trip to Target. See how it makes you feel. And if No Makeup Monday or encouraging people to LOVE themselves is something you can get behind, check out Operation Beautiful for more information.
Thanks for reading friends. I may have never met most of you, but through your comments, your blogs, your tweets, and every interaction we've had, I already know you are all a beautiful bunch of ladies. I hope you feel beautiful.
Lots of love to you, friends. Happy Monday!