Once apon a time a little Elle worked at @countryroad , @myer and @davidjonesstore . All places where aesthetic is everything. I bought into it. I wore make up everyday, went out of my way to buy lots of products and most regrettably, wasted so much of my TIME doing it. While wearing the newest or ‘nicest’ clothes never really bothered me, walking into a workplace where polished faces and hairdos frowned down upon the lesser tended to or vain folk; one truth resounded. This is a TOXIC expectation. On a day when I was running late, my bare face was ashamed to look at customers. How did I get here?! I was embarrassed to show people my face. My real face. Not the one under the bullshit facade.
So, I embarked on a month completely make-up free. I embraced the purge, both mentally and physically with my skin adjusting. I discarded the self-conscious talk and stood up straight, confident in not giving a fuck what the people looking at me thought. I’ve genuinely never looked back or felt as confident as I do now.
But you know the worst part and the reason that I’ve tagged these businesses? It was (and I would bet still is) A PART OF THE CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION TO WEAR MAKE UP TO WORK!!! How insane is that?! I fully understand one must present themselves to a certain standard. However, how damaging and twisted is that focus on ‘beauty’ that is being spoonfed to the people that not only work for these groups (and many others) but also the people who stream through their doors!
I genuinely believe this is completely unnecessary. It doesn’t impede one’s ability to sell a product. Unless you’re shit at actually selling stuff, which is pretty hard. This post is intended to urge those of you who feel any form of attachment, reliance or comfort in make-up/cosmetics/the aesthetic world to recognize, detatch and reflect on the deep-seated reasons as to WHY. None of those things are YOU. They mask you. Maybe sometimes they enhance you. Either way, they’re impermanent. Is it truly contributing to your positive sense of self, after your ego defends it as harmless, because you’re scared of the true reason why you do these things?
I’ve been 99% cosmetic free for years now, only wearing it for special occasions. My hair might get coloured every now and again (which I’m keen to stop) but it rests in its state upon awakening. Toward the path of radical acceptance. My skin isn’t perfect, my eyes are always red (to the point where I’ve lost count how many times people have asked me if I’m wearing red eyeliner) and a myriad of other bits and bobs that we all identify about ourselves that somehow isn’t enough. We must choose to nourish and worship the body that we have and the garden of the mind that needs equal tending. I only hope for everyone reading this to muster enough unconditional love for self to do the same.
Love, a younger Elle that believes you are beautiful – exactly. as. you. are.