Back in Middle School I felt I was an ugly duckling. I was obsessed with curling my bangs (like from the 80’s) and if one chunk of hair was off, I was destined to have a bad day. If I didn’t have something “cool” to wear, I felt like a loser and like no one should spend a spec of time on me. Talk about poor self-esteem. I thought my face and body was just a screwed up mess. I spent so much time studying what the popular girls were wearing, how they were doing their hair, and I wanted nothing more than to be just like them. I looked up to the popular girls, hoping one day I’d be pretty enough to be part of their world, or at the very least, score a boyfriend.
I spent a lot of time applying makeup, putting together my outfits, and making sure I looked “presentable” before stepping out into the world. This went on for the next decade or two (yes, I’m old enough to say that). I’d teach fitness classes in the morning on the weekends and would wear a full get up of makeup so that I felt confident enough to even teach the class. I’d always make sure my hair looked good enough to let myself out of the house. I always wore eyeliner and mascara–like no matter what. P.S. If this is you, just know I’m not talking shit about you. I’m just saying that this used to be me and to some extent, still is. (I’m just sharing my story)
And, when I met my now fiance, I’d go to bed with makeup on so he wouldn’t see me without makeup. In the morning, I’d get up before him so that I could put on some mascara and eyeliner before he woke up.
Once in a while, I was comfortable going makeup free, but only if I was going to be home with my fiance. ONE TIME I went to work only wearing mascara and I got the “Are you Sick?” questioning all day long. Then, back in March of this year, I started teaching online fitness and yoga classes (in a body positive, body neutral way) at 7am in the morning before work. I’d wake up extra early to put on makeup before teaching class.
Then, one day, I realized something: No one cares what I look like. Like no one. Other than me. Why am I so obsessed with looking good? Looking put together? To my surprise, I realized that “looking pretty” was my armor. It was my way to show up looking put together, as if all is well in my world. When really, let’s be honest, it ain’t always rainbows and butterflies, no matter how good my eyelashes look or how poppin’ my eyes appear. I was hiding behind this armor. I was ready to not hide anymore. I stopped wearing makeup to my online workouts and shared with my audience what I had realized. So many women commented saying how happy they were that I was allowing myself to show up without makeup and I received so much support, love, and “You are beautiful without it Cait” comments.
This leads to present day. I went 2 full days without wearing makeup and it felt awesome. And no, I do not believe I deserve some sort of an award or anything like that. I didn’t do anything revolutionary or ground breaking. BUT it was ground breaking and revolutionary for ME. I even did a Facebook Live Video *GASP* for my lifestyle program peeps without having taken a shower, put on deodorant, washed my hair, or applying a spec of makeup. And here’s the kicker: I didn’t care. I felt beautiful. I felt like me. I felt knowledgeable and my heart felt words were coming from a peaceful place within. I wasn’t worried about what they would think of me. I know they respect and love me because of what is coming out of my mouth (and heart), not what I look like.
I didn’t force myself to not wear make up for those 2 days. It wasn’t like a #nomakeupchallenge or anything like that. I didn’t set out to go 2 days without makeup. I simply just didn’t have any interest in putting makeup on. Side Note: I also didn’t set out to not wear deodorant, I just forgot and my armpits told me so around 5:3o at night.
Finding Body freedom is not just about ditching the diets, smashing your bathroom scale into a million pieces, or finding out how you want to nourish your body using food and movement, meditation, and mindfulness. It’s also about how you view yourself, how you decide to show up in the world, the clothes you wear, and whether or not you want to wear makeup. Here’s the thing: Just because you are female doesn’t mean you have to wear makeup. You are allowed to show up to your job, your day, and any social event (or your living room) however you want to show up, in whatever clothes you want to wear.
What is the armor you are hiding behind?
Are you willing to take a look at your armor?
And if so, are you willing to look at letting it go, if even for just 2 days?