In People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful article, they recently unveiled more photos showing celebrities without a drop of makeup. When someone sees a celebrity with no makeup, the tendency is to be a little shocked. Apparently, we love to see them show off their true beauty, we think it’s ‘refreshing’ and ‘real’. For a moment, we realize these people are actually human, just like us!
I’m all for going au naturel, if that’s what a woman wants to do. I normally don’t wear a ton of makeup. Not because I’m not vain at all (ha! good one!) but because I am allergic to almost everything. Also, my hand shakes when anything with a sharp point or resembling a clamp gets too close to my eyeballs. Put an eyelash curler in the hands of a colossal clutz like me and you’re flirting with disaster. Besides, I live in Maine, where we’re not obligated to look halfway decent out in public. The more worn around the edges you look, the more you fit in around these parts.
When I do slap on some concealor or lipstick, my husband notices right away. “WOW, honey! You look good!” After he recovers from a few rapid-fire jabs to his arm, he desperately tries to backpedal. “I mean, you always look good. Even with no makeup. Ow! Stop hitting me! Ow! Actually, you don’t need makeup at all, it just looks good on you sometimes! Ow! What I am trying to say is, you are gorgeous just being you, I swear!”
This is my love/hate relationship with makeup. We all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Still, sometimes I want to look a little better than what the cat dragged in. Is that wrong? The older I get, the less I want to care about my outer looks, but it’s still there. We have been conditioned to believe this is what matters. I’m not going to start pointing fingers and playing the blame game about media, movies, celebrity because we all eat that stuff up just as much as we condemn it.
I suppose it may be true humans are inclined to prefer things they initially find appealing to the eye–gorgeous sunsets, beautiful flowers…people with long lashes and perfect lips. But I’ve found that once you get to know a person’s inner personality, their true soul shines through and completely transforms the person’s overall appeal. Once this happens, the superficial looks of a person are not even noticeable anymore. It is a shame that we tend to focus only on the outer attractiveness when we hold someone in high esteem, like celebrities. But it does sell a lot of magazines.
Maybe we’d all feel better about our natural beauty if we could see more of these celebrities in their genuine natural glory. Or better yet, someone like me who wasn’t already blessed with a perfectly symmetrical face and high cheekbones. Would People magazine ever feature everyday women like me? Well they tried with this article showing the “inner and outer beauty” of women. Still, not a asymmetrical face in the bunch; all of them have what we deem as an ‘attractive’ face.
Instead, this is what I wish People magazine would do: get someone who had no sleep the previous night, say someone who slept on the edge of her 5 year old’s twin bed for a total of three hours of jagged sleep; someone who had no time for a shower, and had to pull her hair back into a ratty ponytail in her rush to get the kids off to school; someone who can’t afford fancy soaps and moisturizers made out of rose petals and Dead Sea salt scrubs; someone who worked long hours all day standing on her feet, her face puffed up and bloated; someone who inherited her mother’s dark circles, bad skin, crooked nose and saggy chin. In other words: someone with a regular normal face.
Maybe then I’d believe we are free from our insecurities with our own looks and the innate desire to look more attractive. I know I still struggle with it, like a lot of men and women. The older I get, the more I want to just be myself, gray hair, wrinkles, dark circles and all. But if I go to Target looking like that, I sometimes feel a little embarrassed, especially if I run into say, an ex-boyfriend from college. Suddenly I’m Quasimodo with my hands covering my face. “Look away! Bah! Nothing to see here!” Other days, I really don’t care what people think of me. Yeah, so what! I’ve got zits and I’m 41! I’ve got crow’s feet and dark circles! This is what I really look like–deal with it! Feels good. Being yourself and loving it. Imagine! It’s a process. I’m slowly getting there. I suppose not being able to halt the aging process helps me get there faster.
Same goes for my weight. It’s just a number. Why do I care so much? I am the weight I am and I should just go with it. The important thing to me should be: Am I healthy? Am I happy? Am I able to be live and breathe and be with my family and friends? And who really thinks I’m beautiful, even in my natural state? My kids, husband, family and friends. Of course they do, they love me. These are the ultimate things we should be concerning ourselves with, not whether a person still looks ‘good’ with no makeup or if their bodies aren’t a certain weight.
We are all so much more than our bodies, our faces. Obviously, our true essense has nothing to do with our bodies at all. Instead, our bodies should be cherished and accepted as they are because they are the vehicles that get us around while we’re alive. But ultimately, they’re the shells we shed once we die. Yet we preoccupy ourselves so much with how they look and continually put ourselves down when we try to measure up to what society thinks is attractive. I know I do. Takes a bit of joy out of living.
Deep down we all know this to be a fact: what matters in the end is what we do, who we love and how we treat others while we’re here. Kindness. Compassion. Respect. Love. If you allow these things to shine through–the real you–the outer physical stuff falls away and in your heart you’ll feel radiant and gorgeous because you are.
I can’t think of anything more beautiful.