Today I didn’t wear any makeup to college which is not unusual for me but is also not an everyday occurrence. Yesterday I wore pretty much a full face of makeup and no one commented on my defined eyes or how purple my lips were but today I was told several times that I ‘looked tired’ and asked if I was ill.
I think what they meant to say when they asked me that was ‘why is your face different to normal and less aesthetically pleasing? Why is your skin not all one colour? Why are there bags under your eyes? Why can I see the blemishes on your face? Why are your cheeks red? Why are your eyebrows less defined? Why do your eyes look smaller and less blue? Why do you look less beautiful?’
But you know what? I am tired. I’m tired of you judging me not for who I am but how I look. I’m tired of you pointing out my flaws as though they are new, believe me I know they’re there. I’m tired of having to live up to your standard of beauty everyday. Why should I have to wear make up to learn and have fun? Why should I bend who I am to fit your mould? My face may not be airbrushed and I may not have foundation but I have a healthy body, a sharp wit and a hand with which I will bitch-slap you if you don’t shut up.
And tomorrow when I come in wearing makeup it isn’t to hold up a patriarchal view of feminine beauty, it’s not to silence you, it’s not to be confident it’s because I want to. It’s fun, it’s different and its a non-permanent way of highlighting aspects of my face.
In short, I am tired. Aren’t you?