I went to a 10 day Vipassana meditation course recently.
Seeing as I was already going without talking, treats, books, music, cuddles, and exercise, I figured I might as well add one more thing to the list.
Ever since I was about 13 and discovered this magic brown stuff that could perform miracles – making ugly pimples, scars, or any other skin imperfection disappear – I’ve been a faithful applier. Each morning after washing my face, I wouldn’t let ‘the world’ see me until my concealer was on. I didn’t care about other make-up (my sister can tell you that I’ll practically run away from an eyeshadow brush!), but I’d always felt safer, more confident, and I guess just, well, prettier with concealer on.
It may surprise you that of all the things I was giving up for 10 days, this turned out to be the hardest!
The first morning when I left my room concealer-less, I felt like everyone was looking at me. (even though I knew they weren’t – in fact we had all been instructed to not look at each other!)
I felt exposed. I felt imperfect.
On Day 6, I had a massive breakout. But still, with red marks and nasty scabby things on my face, I went out as-is. No cover-ups, no tweaking.
Sometime during Day 8, I realised – hey, this is reality. I actually look like this. It may not be how I want to look, how the ideal visualisation of myself appears in my head, but it’s me. It’s real.
We all have things we’d rather cover up. And I think women in particular have been trained to do this thanks to the expectation of society that we ‘should’ wear make-up. If you get used to concealing flaws on your face and body, then it’s pretty natural to start applying that same thin layer of gunk to other areas of your life.
I want to be secure enough that I can be real with others – showing them who I really am, so they can feel comfortable to be who they really are too.
Let’s stop hiding the things we don’t like. Let’s be ourselves – no additives, no modifications.