When leaving the house, there are a lot of things that go into getting ready. Usually it involves showering, makeup, stalling, checking social media, and choosing an outfit.
And some of these can involve a certain amount of stress. I worry I’m going to be warm or cold or have to pull on my skirt every five minutes. But, one of my biggest fears is something I hadn’t even thought about until recently: having to apologize for my look.
“Sorry I’m overdressed.”
“Sorry I’m underdressed.”
“Sorry, it’s laundry day.”
And all of the silent apologies we give ourselves about how silly we look in dark lipstick because everyone else is wearing slubby t-shirts or wishing we would have plucked our eyebrows before we left. There is some silent fear that people will judge our personality if we look too dressed up (we’re snobby) or too dressed down (we don’t care.) It’s a lot of times easier to roll with the pack.
Beauty has become a necessity and a way to fit in in certain places rather than artistic and self-expression. For the more timid of us, you know that ceremonial text you send to your friends when going out “Well, what are YOU wearing?” God forbid we stand out or look inappropriate.
There are plenty of things to be sorry for. We as humans made Justin Bieber popular and became so obsessed with almonds that they’re gonna steal all our water. But, beauty is not one of them. There are no rules in beauty and fashion, no limit or requirement on the amount of makeup or hair product that you need to be able to leave the house.
Obviously there are limits; places have dress codes, and you don’t want to look unprofessional, but isn’t the whole point of style to have fun? I mean we’re putting paint and fabric on ourselves for God’s sake.
Beauty is self-expression, whether that means you wear a full cat-liner and dark lipstick or you wear nothing but moisturizer. Your self-comfort should not come from the solace that you look the same as everyone else does in the room. Your style is yours and yours alone. What’s the point of splurging on clothes and makeup you like if you’re just going to base everything off of someone else?
Our habit as humans, and let’s face it, as women, is to apologize for any inconvenience, any thing we think is perceived as showy, malicious, insincere, or any other negative thing, but you wearing what you like is not an inconvenience to anyone else. You being tired or trying a new makeup look or just not feeling your look that day is not a cause for an apology.
Fashion and beauty have an incredible power to unite people, but too often it is used as a way to divide us. Just because we think people are judging us does not mean that they necessarily are. We care a lot about what other people are doing, because that’s just what makes life interesting, but most of the time, you are the only one who is scrutinizing your look. You are being your own worst enemy and driving yourself insane about made up scrutinizing you think others are doing.
So go ahead and experiment with that new look you’ve been dying to try. Throw out your makeup if you see fit. Try and remove that nagging feeling in the back of your head when you show up to casual Friday in a bangin’ new dress because you just could not wait. Resist the urge to apologize to your girlfriends for showing up to brunch with a messy bun and make-up free because there are more important things (waffles!) to think about.
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