Cobwebs on Culture: Beauty is Brain Deep

With the plethora of writing coming out of the light-skinned, mixed camp, I can’t help but wonder (it’s funny when people say that) why there is still a heated debate over optics. 

Part of it has to do with self worth and the other part has to do with how you are reflected in the world. If you feel validated not wearing makeup then two pennies for you. If you feel more attractive and prepared with a painted face, then spend a nickel. The point is writers have to stop telling other people what to do simply because it worked for them (and having a platform is important).

The main lecture about the bathroom, in my home, was water conservation. I grew up in drought Southern California so we were regularly hitting 100-110 degrees each day. Smog alerts. Still played soccer outside and I was only allowed a 5 to 10 min shower. They put an egg timer in the bathroom and my broham always let it run out or fudged the time. And paying for water… that’s a more important issue for all of us. 

I wasn’t allowed to wear make up so I snuck lipstick in my backpack like everyone else in junior high. And when I came out, nothing but ugly cosmetic choices bestowed upon me by my well meaning mother. That didn’t un-gay me, just made me question her style.

Point is, what’s that little girl going to decide for herself. My mom has fair skin and freckles. I have moles like my father and hair to match. My mom could barely brush my hair without me screaming but they were going to dictate how I expressed myself. They put me in a dress, I put pants on underneath. We had trees to climb! And that’s also how I earned my mullet. I screamed “cut it off, cut it off!!” and at that point she was done with the crying and tangles. My mom took me to a place outside the mall where she got her hair cut. “Leave some length” and that’s all it took to keep it pro in the front and party in the back. I had to have been 5.

I wear make up for occasions like going to the theater, a celebration, or work. But I don’t over do it because I don’t have the time. I used to make sure my face was put together so I wouldn’t be mistaken for a student. Didn’t matter. I’m short, I’ve still been taken for a student. So this has led me to believe two things: one, I’ll never look the way people believe I should or am capable, and 2, I’ll do my brows and wear eye liner if that’s what I want. 

There is pressure to succumb to even the newest trend let alone living the life of a make up user. I have had former colleagues with no couth (men) ask me if I was sick because I wasn’t wearing my eyes the way I usually did. I didn’t look sick, I just didn’t look seductive. And where was his face routine? But people feel they can tell you their unworthy ideas because they believe them to be true. They think they can help you. But this conversation isn’t about de-cluttering closets, it’s about the cobwebs on culture. 

And everything will change…again

Art by Nathan Morse (@deadsparrow)

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