let me take a realie.


taken 14 April 2014. no make-up. no filters. no editing.
The Today Show calls it, a #loveyourselfie

so by now, most of us have heard about Lorde’s Instagram and Twitter posts, one of her with her acne cream on, and one showing the photoshopped and non-photoshopped versions of her performing, captioned “remembers flaws are ok :-)”. more recently, Lady Gaga posted a photo of herself on Twitter, breathtakingly bare and sans costumes. it’s gotten to the point where it is just as easy for us to find photos of stars with bare-skinned faces as it is to find photos of stars baring it all; no easy task. what i thought was interesting about all of this is that almost no one i actually know, myself included, leaves the house without something on their face and/or done to their hair. regardless of gender, i know very few people who feel comfortable without making themselves “presentable”.

once in a while, i leave my apartment on an early weekend morning to run an errand WITH NOTHING ON MY FACE <insert shock and horror here!>. although make-up and hair-styling is meant to emphasize what i have, to “enhance my natural beauty”, i have never felt more visible, public, and seen (judged?), as when i literally dash face first, naked skin and all, into the throng of the public eye. i typically wear hats and radical sunglasses (a cool pair of sunglasses is my most essential accoutrement), drawing attention away from my face and toward my persona.

it’s not that i think i’m ugly. or that i think supermodels roll out of bed with perfect bumble-and-bumble hair and sephora make-up. it’s that need to be seen as “put together” – perhaps to exert control, structure. perhaps to look like we walked out of a photo shoot to spend 9 hours in the office. perhaps it’s to make others feel more comfortable with a streamlined, digestible version of ourselves. and i’m not sure for who’s benefit any of that actually is.

this is not to say that i am giving up bare minerals. i have come to understand what make-up does for others, but also how it makes me feel. especially on those “fake it til you make it” mornings, make-up helps give me a confidence boost, a ready-to-do-this attitude, a sense that i’m still me underneath, just a little more polished. given that i’m not a morning person, sometimes make-up is to my face what coffee is to my soul nervous system.

the reason that i bring this up is that i’d like to challenge you, me, everyone, to try being a little more  e x p o s e d  once in a while. wash your face, slap on a little moisturizer to keep your skin healthy (it is your biggest organ, you know!), and tszuj your hair with a little water. see how people react. see how YOU react. see what feels different. and what doesn’t. no hats and glasses. no make-up. nothing but your beautiful, natural self.

because most people in my circle probably haven’t seen me without make-up in a very long time, and because Lorde and big Lady G reminded me that “flaws are ok”, i decided i’d post my own “realie”. not a perfectly shot selfie to show what i’ve learned about the art of make-up application (which, considering that i’m NOT a pro is actually a scary amount), but a real, filter-less, unadulterated, straight-on photo of my clean, undone, naked face. so there you have it. i HAVE taken a selfie, and it’s the real deal.


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