When I was about ten, my mom handed me a book from American Girl called “The Care and Keeping of You 2” and told me to talk to her if I had any questions. I proceeded to read through 96 pages of information for girls who are about to go through puberty. When I finished it, my mom asked again if I had any questions. I apparently had no trouble accepting that I would soon be shopping for bras or bleeding out of my vagina, and I had only one: “Mom, how do I know if I have an eating disorder?”
I had never been interested in wearing makeup. I tend to sleep in late, press snooze a few too many times, and throughout my prime start using makeup years I never even woke up in time to eat breakfast, let alone paint my face. And I wasn’t insecure about it. Makeup is time-consuming and expensive, I never put that much effort into any part of my appearance, and I was decent enough looking without it that I never felt it was necessary.
But then, college graduation started approaching. And I felt like I needed to start being an adult. And I thought that surely being able to correctly apply makeup is a necessary part of adulting – it’s something women are just expected to do at a certain age. So, much to her absolute joy, I finally allowed my sister to teach me her ways. We spent over an hour on the phone while I tried to pick the right colors and items from a CVS, and then I watched YouTube video after YouTube video to learn how to put it on.
As a result, just in time for my (successful) job interview, I learned. My interview was on a Wednesday. The Sunday before, I tried everything I had picked out with the help of my sister to make sure I knew what I was doing. I made adjustments based on what I liked and didn’t like, as well as YouTube-suggested “interview” makeup, and tried the exact look I was planning for my interview that Tuesday. With just a few other, small changes, I created that look again on Wednesday for my interview.
One thing that surprised me on all three of these days was how much more self-conscious I was of my face with the makeup than without it. I felt like I was wearing too much, like people were judging me for having stuff on my face, like I was faking something. I knew, of course, that most women my age wear makeup everyday and it’s likely that nobody other than me paid any attention to it, but I was still grateful for the day after my interview when I knew I would be able to go bare-faced all day after so many days made up.
And that’s when something happened that I especially didn’t expect: Continue reading