This is a long post.
Recently an Aussie jewellery designer I follow on Facebook, Samantha Wills, posted this pic with these words –
[STEP INTO WHO YOU ARE] A Makeup & Filter Free Post…
“The other night, I (for the first time, ever) arrived at my boyfriend’s house, with no makeup on. Not even a lick of mascara. Nada. Nothing. Zip.
We were sitting on the couch & he said ‘You’re not wearing any makeup, are you?’ Horrified that I was melting his eyeballs with my naked-albino-non-existent lashes, blemishes & bronzer free skin, I covered my face with both hands & peered at him through a star-trek split of my fingers. ‘No….. I’m not’ I replied. ‘Whhhhhy?’, I asked (very cautiously) hoping he wasn’t going to play the over-honesty card & tell me that, had he wanted to spend the evening with a hobbit, he would have rented ‘Lord of The Rings’ (Which, of course he would never say (I hope!) but you know how the insecure-makeup-free-mind wanders…). Anyway, to my turning point, he replied ‘I think you look incredibly beautiful without makeup.’
To which, of course, I immediately fired, ‘So, you don’t think I look pretty WITH makeup? Is THAT what you’re saying??!’ (ah. Women.)
‘Of course I think you look beautiful both ways, but I really like it when you don’t wear any makeup.’ He replied, then picked up his beer & continued telling me about how freakishly awesome Lionel Messi (?) (Soccer player… I think) is.
We didn’t talk about it again, but it got me thinking about the time I spend in this day & age where we have a plethora of beauty products for hiding/fixing/sheening/matting/contouring (all of which, I am the ultimate consumer of) & instagram filters (that, let’s face it, make EVERYTHING look better… ‘X Pro-II’ anyone?). Gone are the days of capturing the moment in one shot on film & waiting for the developers to give you your full roll of 24 (different) photos back… We (Read; I) now take 24 of one shot on digital devices to get the best one (I took at least 20 to get this screen shot on my mac camera)… It’s at times tiring, when at the heart of it all, we are who we are, and sometimes it can be super liberating to be, just that.
So, here it is. Makeup free me. (If you think you can see trepidation in my eyes, it’s because I have never posted a photo on a public forum with a naked face – so trepidation it is!)
While the new year’s resolution cut-off date may have passed, and with a new found respect for my (darling) man, I would like to submit a new one for myself & make an active effort to make 2013 a year of moving in the direction of ‘Stepping Into Who I Am’… And hopefully with a little less foundation & bronzer (and primer, and sheen powder, and no-sheen powder…… Yep, I use both. Together.) in the process. – SWx #StepIntoWhoYourAre #ApparentlyMessi’sAnAwesomeSoccerPlayer #NoFilter”
Everyone gave their thoughts, these caught my eye –
“From Margaret Moran – Get over yourself – think of something important – there are people out in the real world trying to recover from facial burns etc NOT sitting around taking 20 photos of themselves. I’m pleased my daughters have respect for others for who they at not how brave it is not to wear makeup.”
I agree in the respect of there are worse things going on in the world. If your child got Cancer would you worry about makeup? If you or your family were in a car accident, would you worry about makeup? If you were told you were dying, would you worry about makeup?
“From Blair Rachael – Margaret Moran, you should probably learn from your kids and not be so judgemental. It takes guts for some people not to wear makeup around other people. It took me a while when I was younger because I had terrible skin, and when my skin cleared, I keeps wearing it as if it was a part of me. Then I learned I didn’t need it anymore, it really takes guys sometimes, no matter how small it is.”
There is a big difference to someone having a skin condition, and a problem free person “believing” they need it to make themselves look better.
“From Myf Bryant – Margaret Moran, I understand what you are (very poorly) trying to say, but it seems you are totally missing the point of SW’s beautiful post.
Samantha’s post is all about self-acceptance, and promoting an ideal that all women are beautiful, if only they’d believe it. Samantha is not supposing that her lack of confidence in going make-up free is a world changing issue, but she is using her public profile to try and encourage other women out there to see their own beauty, and enable confidence.
If you think that this post was just about make-up…read it again, Margaret. It’s about do much more. Thank you Samantha. It’s a beautiful and inspiring post”
I’m not too sure that’s what Sam’s post was about. It was about her and her insecurities and the conversation she had with her boyfriend, she’s essentially only referring to herself and her life. There is a difference. And her life is pretty freakin’ fantastic so I have no idea what she has to complain about.
“From Careina Lendrum – I don’t normally comment on this kind of stuff but seriously Margaret. Get over your arrogance and let’s try not to be so rude. We come from a world where it’s not the norm to walk out in public without make up on. The beauty industry is a billion $$$ industry with very effective marketing campaigns targeted at selling not only there make up but images… The more beautiful and flawless there Models are, the more they sell… So we are taught from a very young age by the beauty industry and media to not always feel comfortable in our own skin. Targeted marketing is very effective… This meaning that every image we see is altered and every girl that represents a Product is flawless… So therefore it is very hard for some girls to feel comfortable with what they have, because not every girl is strong minded and loves what they see staring back at them. So how about u Get over yourself and stop being so arrogant as to why girls feel strange about stepping out into Public with no makeup on.”
Completely disagree with the world being normal to walk outside without make up. I do it 6 days a week. Also disagree about being taught from a young age, I was not. Do agree with the beauty industry, and therein lies my issue, although I’m adult enough to not be sucked into it.
I thought a lot of things about this post and the comments. At first they were the usual, “there’s worse things going on in the world, how insecure, if you were serious you would have pulled your hair into a pony tail and faced the camera straight on with a smile on your face instead of making sure you displayed a part of your apartment.”
But then my thoughts veered in other directions. First I’ll touch on the parts of this post that I don’t agree with or like as a woman –
1 – “Horrified that I was melting his eyeballs with my naked-albino-non-existent lashes, blemishes & bronzer free skin, I covered my face with both hands & peered at him through a star-trek split of my fingers. ‘No….. I’m not’ I replied. ‘Whhhhhy?’, I asked (very cautiously) hoping he wasn’t going to play the over-honesty card & tell me that, had he wanted to spend the evening with a hobbit, he would have rented ‘Lord of The Rings’ (Which, of course he would never say (I hope!) but you know how the insecure-makeup-free-mind wanders…)”
I see this as a big sign of insecurity and that trait is not attractive to me. I become despondent when someone who inspires me comes off as insecure and it makes me want to look elsewhere for inspiration.
2 – “To which, of course, I immediately fired, ‘So, you don’t think I look pretty WITH makeup? Is THAT what you’re saying??!’ (ah. Women.)”
A person should only ever speak for themselves, not all women in general. I have no need to get defensive about my looks and I certainly don’t bark at people about it. We are not all insecure and we all do not talk or think that way. And not all of us have a need to have a go at our partners.
3 – “We didn’t talk about it again, but it got me thinking about the time I spend in this day & age where we have a plethora of beauty products for hiding/fixing/sheening/matting/contouring (all of which, I am the ultimate consumer of)”
This is where the beauty industry sucks the insecure into its web. Not every woman uses these products and only the vain/insecure/lacking self-esteem women get conned.
4 – “We (Read; I) now take 24 of one shot on digital devices to get the best one (I took at least 20 to get this screen shot on my mac camera)… It’s at times tiring, when at the heart of it all, we are who we are, and sometimes it can be super liberating to be, just that.”
Taking all those photos just to make your insecurities happy must be very tiring. Sure I take multiple photos of the objects I post about because the camera lets me down, not my looks. And lighting’s a bitch!
5 – “So, here it is. Makeup free me. (If you think you can see trepidation in my eyes, it’s because I have never posted a photo on a public forum with a naked face – so trepidation it is!)”
Never posted a naked photo of her face. Interesting, that for someone who used to be a bikini model when she was younger and loves to head to the beach, she’s never posted a makeup free picture of herself.
6 – While the new year’s resolution cut-off date may have passed, and with a new found respect for my (darling) man, I would like to submit a new one for myself & make an active effort to make 2013 a year of moving in the direction of ‘Stepping Into Who I Am’… And hopefully with a little less foundation & bronzer (and primer, and sheen powder, and no-sheen powder…… Yep, I use both. Together.) in the process.”
New found respect? Sounds like she had lost, or had no respect for him before his comment, which isn’t good. Stepping into who I am. While it sounds like a good thing it makes me wonder what she’s been doing for the last 31 years.
When it comes to beauty products and makeup, there are women who will always need the help. Those with skin conditions especially, acne, eczema, psoriasis will need constant medication and medicated products to help them through life. That’s completely understandable and accepted. Self-esteem is very important and to face the world with bad skin issues can suck the life out of you.
Sam is clearly not one of these people.
I look at Sam and think, “what have you got to complain about?” You have great skin, you’re as thin as two toothpicks glued together, you have a great career, money to buy all those sequined goods you show us, you have a great home filled with great stuff, you get to travel and see the world, have two homes in two countries, are able to wear anything you like and have hair and a body some women would die for. Not to mention a great boyfriend. So what do you have to complain about?”
What that tells me is that even good looking women with their perfect bodies and perfect lives are insecure.
Let’s look at Madonna. She got so insecure about Lady Gaga taking over the world that Madge tried to copy her. Stripping off more clothes and getting all “radical” at her concerts. Unfortunately, the phrase “mutton dressed as lamb” is something that proves Madonna is insecure about her age and looks and she struggles to stay on top. A place she has not been for quite some time. And we all noticed she had her cheeks plumped up.
Even 20 something women are getting Botox and fillers to look younger. Although if they looked younger they be back to baby age.
Yes this is an age of companies and magazines continually bombarding us with ads and stories about the latest diets, beauty products or makeup that will shave 10, 20, even 30 years from our face and body. And yet, dermatologists will tell you that beauty products claiming to have all these things in them is actually rubbish and they don’t work.
And I’d rather listen to an actual expert that some company trying to make me feel better about myself.
I definitely have my issues. I still have pimples, redness and blocked pores at 38. I have Keratosis Pilaris on my arms, which my dermatologist claimed usually went away with adulthood but I proved him wrong as mine has spread to my whole arms. I have a touch of psoriasis around my hair line and need medicated shampoo. I have dark circles from bad health, and bags from lack of sleep. I’ve had stretch marks since I was 10 when I grew outward in every which way, and have a weight issue that cannot be solved. I suffer from swollen ankles all year long, and have bad sciatica that can be so crippling at times I can’t walk, bend over or crouch. I also care for my mother 24/7 and my health has suffered through that.
But I don’t have that plethora of cosmetics because I know I only need the basics. Another reason I cut and culled my beauty and make up routine, something you will hear about in coming weeks. And even though my skin can do with an overhaul, I have no need to buy every product on the shelf.
There are women who suffer far greater atrocities in this world than worrying about make up which is the point Margaret was trying to make in her own way.
I look at you Samantha and think and see that you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about, clearly your insecurities have led you to believe you do. And that is something you are going to have to deal with. You look like the rest of us without our make up, a normal, average human being.
Unfortunately for me, insecurity and immaturity are two traits that turn me off a person, and they are traits that are turning me of you as a person. I don’t see a mature adult woman taking on the world. I see an immature insecure girl who has not yet realised how lucky she is and how grateful she should be that her life has turned out so brilliantly that she is far better off than most.
You used to inspire me. I have articles that I read and take inspiration from, but they are articles from when you lived and worked here in Australia. When you were the carefree, beach gal Sam, in her boho dresses and warm inviting headquarters, being all soft and glowy.
Now, since becoming white and moving to NY, you’ve grown too sophisticated for Aussie beach gals and no longer have that warm and beachy boho glow you had. You no longer inspire to warm and sunny heights, instead you drop me into cold and white lows. Needing to show and tell everything about your life in pictures when you don’t need to, showing me that you need acceptance and to be liked over anything else.
It’s sad. But so many females in their 20s and early 30s still feel these things. In its own way, it has happened every decade to every generation. It’s even worse now though. With the amount of magazines banging on about some diet or product it has made it worse.
However, Sam’s life has been nothing but good. Wonderful loving parents who seem to have raised her well. Amazing best friends, travel, money, award ceremonies and fashion shows. There seems to be nothing wrong whatsoever with her life.
Whatever insecurities you have Sam, I hope one day you wake up and go “what the hell did I waste all that time for” and find your way back to the warm and beachy boho gal that I drew inspiration from. Because the woman I’m seeing now is not someone who inspires me. It’s someone who turns me off herself and her product, and leaves me heading in the opposite direction to find mature, adult artists and designers who I can take inspiration from.
Like Camilla Franks.
Companies and magazines have a lot to answer to. But so does the world in general that constantly sends mixed messages about being good enough while telling us we’re not good enough.
So sad that humans and the world have come to that. And even sadder that magazines and companies won’t change it.
That means we have to.