I watched this music video by Colbie Caillat, and was so moved by the images of Colbie removing her extensions, lashes, and makeup, and revealing the photoshop in real time. I had to share my thoughts.
You don't have to try to be beautiful. You ARE beautiful. You are a human with quirks and pigments and scars and pores and layers upon layers of skin that cover muscle and fat and veins and bones that carry around the incredibly beautiful creation that is YOU. You are not your body. You are not your face. You are not your hair. All of those things make up pieces of you, but you are so much greater than the sum of those parts.
You are beautiful. Period. Not in spite of these physical forms we inspect and dissect so intensely, but because of them. I don't mean to say that we should pretend everything about us is perfect (sometimes there are things we deem "ugly" about ourselves that are symptoms of something unhealthy to which we may need to pay attention). What I mean to say is that every piece of what we look like, or experience, or whatever, contributes to our context and viewpoint. All our various parts and pieces contribute to who we are, and they are also separate from who we are.
Makeup and hair can be a perspective changer, an art form, an expression, a tool, a trick, a fantasy, a comfort, a language, a connection, a statement, a social convention, a show, a mask, a convenience....the list goes on. But it will never make you any more beautiful than you already are.
As somebody who values being "pretty" a great deal, I will testify that I want to hear it all the time. I strive for other people to think I'm pretty. I love hearing how beautiful my eyes are, or how great my legs look, or whatever. And if I don't hear it consistently, I start to question wether I am, actually, beautiful. But when I really dig into the truth, I know I am beautiful. I am a valuable creation with a unique perspective in this world. I have a voice, and a purpose. I have the power to choose my actions and how I interact with the world around me. I was made beautiful, and so were you. And when you know that you are wholly beautiful, without trying, without changing, you are not only empowered to face the ugly pieces without breaking, but you can clearly see all the beautiful people around you.
And that truly is beautiful.
As a makeup artist, I hear people apologize for how they look every day, as though their untouched faces are offensive to me. Let me shout it from the rooftops: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Nothing I put on your face will change who you are. None of it matters if you don't know in your soul that you are enough without it. It is my job to tranform your face however you'd like, and I hope that in the process, perhaps you see how beautiful you are. My dream is that when you take off the lashes and the lipstick, you feel just as beautiful as when I put them on your face.