Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beauty Shaming

We were walking to my next class, having just finished our heated discussion on the professor's teaching philosophy, when she looked over at me and casually said:

"You know, you would be so beautiful if you didn't wear makeup."

I was taken aback. My first thought was uhh yeah, no. You haven't seen my naked face in the morning. It's pretty scary. But, I just kinda smiled at her and brought up a new topic.

But as the day went on, the comment kept bugging me. I kept thinking how rude it was to judge another woman's beauty based off her choice in to wear or not to wear makeup.

You see, my beauty does not lie in the choice I make to wear makeup. In fact, my beauty doesn't have anything to do with my face at all.

I am beautiful because of my passions, the things that drive me, the dreams I aspire to. I am beautiful because I can make people laugh and because I am smart and caring and kind. I am beautiful because of my character, my inner-thoughts and the depth of my soul. None of those things have anything to do with makeup.

Beauty does not correlate to what I decide to put on my face. 

I think that the issue lies within what women and men are taught from a very early age. We are taught that thin, tan legs, flat stomachs and a big chest contain women's beauty... that the rosiness of our cheeks, the length of our eyelashes, the color of our cheeks make us pretty. All these things are instilled in us as things to strive for. But I reject it. I am not beautiful because of those things and they are not what define me.

As I think about what that peer told me that day, I want to respond with this:

As women, we need to stop judging ourselves and others. Personally, I do not care about your choice in not wearing makeup and you should not worry about my choice in wearing it. What I do care about is if you are a genuinely good person with a good soul who wants to make a difference in this big ol' world.

Yes, I like to wear makeup. But I realize that my face is only skin deep. I am constantly reminding myself that if what I have on the inside doesn't match with what appears on the outside, I have a problem.

I think that as a society (not just women), we should be more uplifting and accepting to differences. I should love you not because you choose to wear makeup or not, not because of who you love, because of the religion you follow and not because you have a different skin color than myself. None of those things should define who you are and I should not be judging you based off those facts.

Let's choose to uplift and inspire one another, not degrade and bring each other down. Together let's strive to be more accepting to others and their differences and to learn to look past the surface. Let's train ourselves to not judge outward appearances and focus on making ourselves better human beings on the inside. 

Beauty is not a check box. It cannot be defined by a certain set of requirements. So please, please stop shaming one another. We are all better than that.

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