Baring It All

I came to think that that was the only way to look pretty

I started wearing makeup every day, when I was 12 years old. Just mascara and kohl, but now, even that seems crazy – I was only a child! Having first been a Spice Girl fan, then Charmed and MTV obsessed, my role-models were grown women in sexy outfits with their hair and makeup always professionally styled. Naturally, I came to think that that was the only way to look pretty.

For years, I was so caught up with how people perceived me. This meant having different periods of time trying to look like everyone else – and then trying not to look like everyone else. I cared so much that, a few years ago, I shaved almost all of my hair off to break with the “good-girl” image that everyone had of me (it also had something to do with a minor breakdown, but that’s a different story).

However, along with my recent “awakening” came a rather groundbreaking realization (at least for me): there is no right or wrong when it comes to appearances. Although, that is exactly what the beauty industry wants us to think.

I could never imagine myself doing the same

A couple of years ago, singer/songwriter Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup – on TV, at award shows and in photoshoots. I’ve always been a fan, but this made me love her even more. I thought it was so brave, and I could never, ever, imagine myself doing the same.

With me being born blonde and freakishly pale (in spite of my heritage), I have very little – and mostly blonde – hair on my entire body. This means that my eyelashes are sparse and see-through, while my eyebrows are practically non-existent. Hence, in the last 10 years, I would’ve never dreamed of leaving the house for any social event, work, university – and barely even grocery shopping – without a full face of makeup. But recently, that has changed completely.

When I became conscious of the importance of every living creature (and thus vegetarian going on vegan), I also became much more compassionate and aware of the uniqueness of human beings. And that awareness applied to myself as well.

I’m not gonna let anyone judge me

To me, beauty is not a physical thing. It’s a person’s kindness, honesty, wit, generosity and humor – in one word: a person’s character. It’s a smile on the street, a helping hand and a selfless gesture. And as long as I am that person, I’m not gonna let anyone judge me by anything else (well, they can, but I won’t care).

Now, I wear basically no makeup. I still draw on somewhat natural-looking eyebrows when I go out, because my face has no dimensions without them (having them dyed doesn’t work since I have, like, 18 strands of hair). But I’ve stopped wearing makeup, in part, because I am sick of living up to society’s expectations, and in part, because I look the way I do, and there’s no need to change that, just because someone has set the standard for beauty (it also saves me 20 minutes every morning).
We are all beautiful in our own ways, and I’m not gonna let anyone tell me differently. Right now, the only thing that matters is how I perceive myself. As a person – not a shell.

Therefore, for the first time ever on social media, here is a picture of me – without a shadow of makeup on, completely unedited – and absolutely loving it.

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