What makes you feel beautiful?

This has been on my mind since I was sick last week. I was talking to a friend about how difficult it was to perform basic hygiene tasks like washing my hair and brushing my teeth while I had The Plague, and he said that it was ok, as long as I felt beautiful. It gave me pause.

Being somewhat beauty obsessed, people sometimes assume that I believe makeup is an absolute necessity, but I don’t. Most of the time I don’t even wear it, since I’m just sitting in my house working or writing. Sure, I test a lot of stuff and when I’m getting ready to review a makeup product I wear it a lot, but I don’t think I’m ugly without it. I also don’t think other people are ugly without it. I know a lot of people who never got into makeup and now that they’re adults they’re still not really into it. My aunt and two of my favorite cousins have been asking me a lot of questions about makeup lately because they want to get into it, but now I’m wondering: do they want to get into it because they want to, or because they feel like they should? To me there’s a huge difference.

I love makeup because it makes me feel good. It inspires me. It’s art I can walk around with on my face, and then I can take it off and create something totally different. I can emphasize parts of my face that I like and minimize the ones I don’t. It’s incredible and one of the many reasons I’m beauty obsessed. These are my feelings. They aren’t mandatory for everyone, and neither is a full face of makeup.

If you’re a mascara and lip gloss kind of person and that’s what makes you feel beautiful, fantastic! If you’re a skincare junkie and feel beautiful when your acne is under control, great! I think it’s really important for us to stop holding everyone to the same (totally unreasonable) standard when it comes to beauty.

I use the term “everyone” here intentionally: I’m not limiting this to women. Men wearing makeup isn’t really socially acceptable right now, but we’re getting there. Right now there are so many hair and skin care products targeted at men so it’s not completely unheard of for a dude to go into Ulta or Sephora to browse. I feel like that’s a small step away from having makeup targeted at men. The sooner that happens the better, in my opinion; if men learn about makeup they can stop complaining about women trying to “trick” them with it. I guess these men have met a lot of women with gold eyelids and hot pink lips.

Anyway, this was a bit rambly, but what makes you feel beautiful? How do you feel about modern beauty standards?

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