I Go Without Makeup. Does That Make Me Book Worthy?

The only way I’d be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue. ~ Dolly Parton ~

I go without makeup almost every day since I retired.  And I also haven’t had a professional haircut in well over a year.  There, I’ve made my confession.  What does that mean?

I’ve been reading lately about women going without makeup.  My first reaction is; “So what?”  (As an aside I just learned the word for makeup is maquillaje in clase de español and that did amuse me as it is so relevant to my thought process.)  (Holly, I know that made you chuckle, but you’re probably appalled at the whole haircut thing.)   Anyway, people (meaning women) are writing about not wearing makeup in books and magazines and newspapers and the revelations are getting published.   In this day and age of a nip here a tuck there and BBs and matifying and concealing and highlighting…I could go on forever, I guess this is newsworthy.  Why, the liberation of it all!  Apparently the average woman spends 168 hours a year on hair and makeup.  How they came up with this number I don’t know.  And I guess by average that would mean someone like me, who used to wake up every day, figure out what my hair was doing and then slap on a little paint.  Although on average I guess I spent more time on my hair that makeup.  Hey, it’s difficult being a curly top, people!

I haven’t been a heavy makeup user since I was twelve years old and Rhonda Patton let me use her blue eye shadow.  Luckily for me Rhonda was the only girl in a family of four kids and so was permitted to buy lots of blue eye shadow.  By the time I was 14 I had a part time job and I could buy my own blue eye shadow.  When I was in my late teens I discovered that less is more and managed to get by most days with a lot of mascara and some lip gloss.  Then I ditched the mascara and just used eyeliner so people could actually see that I had eyes behind my glasses.  And now, well now I’ve ditched pretty much everything to go “au naturel” most days.

Do I miss getting glammed up?  Heck no!  I use a bit of eyeliner and sometimes some eye shadow every once in a while when we go out to a soiree or to dinner and it’s nice when people comment.  But I’m secure enough in myself to know that friends and acquaintances can take me or leave me for who I am and I’m not in competition with the young missies young enough to be my daughter.  I may not look better but I feel better without all that goop melting on my face.

On Wednesday when we went to get out driver’s licenses I knew that I would need to put something on to not look like “The Living Dead” in my photograph.  I had no clue what to do with my hair.  I didn’t want to leave it down or I’d be dying of the heat before I got to the SERTACEN office and I didn’t want to pull it up into a top knot because I’d look like I had no hair.  I tried for a happy medium of a low pony tail and I guess it came out o.k.  Here comes another confession.  It took me about half an hour to get ready (not including the shower) because I slapped on eyeliner (two kinds), mascara, eyebrow pencil (where did my eyebrows go as I aged) and some blush.  Something that used to take me ten minutes took me half an hour because I’m so out of practice.  I couldn’t wait to get home and scrub it off I was so uncomfortable.  Now I understand why all the jock girls in school never wore makeup, sweating and mascara do not mix, I don’t care if it is waterproof.  And even though it was the “enhanced” me, it didn’t feel like the “real” me.

There is an article in this month’s “More” magazine about handsome women.  The article describes a handsome woman who is “able to  stare time in the face, squares her (well-tailored) shoulders and simply gets on with it”.  It’s pretty difficult to here in Panama without the requisite well-tailored clothing.  Part of the criteria is also good posture, a fit body, minimal makeup, and easy care hair do and good cheekbones.  My posture has always been lousy, I’ve tried several times to fix the imbalance of my muscles that pull my shoulders forward but it’s something that I can work on.  The fit body, well it was kind of fit when I got here but it’s gotten kind of doughy in the last few months, that’s something I can work on.  Minimal makeup, check, check.  Hair?  In Panama you either have to keep it long enough to pull back and up in the heat or short and off your neck.  I used a flat iron for several years to try and control my hair and now I don’t even own one.  I’ve been contemplating getting my hair cut off to a “fingers through my hair to brush it” cut, but I’d likely have to suffer through growing it back when I changed my mind again.  But then again, maybe now is the time for a change.  As for the good cheekbones, I’ve always hated them but the squarish jaw and the cheekbones are under there somewhere.

I wonder if we’re ever satisfied with our own appearance.  Is it enough to be considered handsome or do we need to be beautiful on the outside?  Are we even thin enough, pretty enough, tall enough, short enough, young enough etc.?  Are we ever satisfied with being enough?  Are women who paint their faces with sponges and brushes to change their appearance doing it to please them, other women, men or society?  Are they hiding something or do they have a feeling of inadequacy?  And why is it newsworthy when a woman goes without makeup for a whole year?

I think of all the beautiful, strong women in my life that don’t need makeup to enhance their natural beauty. The most beautiful women I know are beautiful because of their sense of humour and intelligence.  The beauty industry tells us over and over that we all need use their products to make ourselves better.  Who are we making ourselves “better” for?  That is the question.

I spent over an hour last night talking to one of the most beautiful women in the world to me.  Talking with her always makes me laugh and think about things outside the sphere of my existence.  Mi mamá es la mujer más hermosa para mí. ¡Buenos días y tener un buen fin de semana!


About indacampo

You'll find me at https://indacampo.wordpress.com/ blogging about Panama...and other things.
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5 Responses to I Go Without Makeup. Does That Make Me Book Worthy?

  1. Ohhhhh, Karen you have touched on a subject that is very close to my heart. Being in the beauty business for 30 years and being raised by two hairdressers who also owned a big , busy salon I have seen it all. I myself have found as I have gotten older that it saddens and maddens me to see so many women so very unhappy with their external appearance. I am sickened ( I know, harsh, huh!) , by what our society has done to all of us in regards to how we see ourselves and how we define “beauty”. All around me I am bombarded by women young and old who are endlessly searching for ways to change what they look like , and I don’t mean just a new haircut or a few highlights but plastic surgery and even permanent makeup tattoo’s ( eyebrows, eyeliner, lipstick! Yikes!). It makes me so sad to see clients who sit in my chair and do everything they can to avoid looking at themselves in the mirror because they don’t like what they see and are so uncomfortable in their own skin, It’s a more common occurrence than you can imagine. Perfectly beautiful women who are , to me, becoming even more beautiful as I see them aging are unable to give themselves permission to feel beautiful with the few extra wrinkles around their eyes and if I hear one more women bemoan what happens to their neck I am gonna scream! Why oh why can’t we see beauty in who we are, inside and out? Our society has truly damaged our perspective and I see no end to the plastic surgery, injections of Botox, and all around inability to see our natural beauty . Frankly, I’m so glad to be retiring from this industry in spite of the joy I have found from being able to attempt to inject a bit of self-respect and self acceptance into my clients. I applaud you as you live your life in Panama as a natural women, letting that gorgeous curly hair fly free and giving yourself permission to go without makeup! I’m looking forward to joining you in the “Natural Gal” club! LOL! Whew! It feels good to let that out! Ha!Ha! I better step down from my soap box for the day! Let’s enjoy being who we are and not worry so much about creating an external “package” that pleases what all those magazines say we should look like. With or Without makeup, hair color I for one will strive to be comfortable in my skin and not judge myself for just being ME! Cheers! ( That being said, Let’s have a “beauty day” sometime, when I get out there!, I’ll bring the scissors, you provide the cocktails!)

  2. indacampo says:

    LOL! I was waiting for a smack about me not getting a haircut for over a year! 🙂 I was thinking after I posted about the hair color thing. It may be vain of me but I’m not sure that I’m ready to give up on that yet although I’m overdue for a retouch out of the box. I’ve been genetically blessed so far that I’m not too gray and thank goodness for a good box of $5.00 hair color! It’s also part of the reason why I’ve been considering getting it all cut off, to let it go au naturel. Although in Panama spray gel has been a lifesaver for this curly top!

  3. Karen, I just caught up on all your recent posts … you’re a really fine writer and photographer, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Love this one on makeup, or the lack thereof. I’ve never really worn makeup, although I do color my hair. When my book came out the PR group insisted that I wear some, so I did. No one in my family liked it because I didin’t look like me. 🙂 Also enjoyed your thoughts on why you and SU moved to Pedasi, and seeing photos of your house – or one next door – and gardens. It is amazing how fast newly planted things become established and grow. 🙂 Love to both. Pam

  4. indacampo says:

    Thank you mi amiga! Coming from you the accolades mean a lot as I enjoy reading your posts so much.
    I’m still learning about the camera and we’re waiting for a couple of new pieces that I ordered from Amazon. Where would we be without Amazon? They are so efficient but I get impatient with the mail forwarding service. Ah well, such is life!
    The humidity is definitely starting to return here and yes, not much point in trying to do anything but try and control the frizzies and wash my face a couple of times a day to avoid break outs! It’s like I’m a teenager again! 🙂
    Sadly, we’re hearing about trouble in the coastal area from Chame to Santa Clara with break ins and such. It was making me think about Gloria and how the few can spoil it for so many. I’m sure the trouble is not making it any better for the honest, hard working locals. Although our area has not been trouble free we’re quite happy to be where we are.
    As for the garden, small that it is it’s turning into a jungle! It seems like I cut something down and it’s grown another three feet the next day! I’m so glad we didn’t spend a lot of money on large plants other than the big palms in back. It is true that you can plop a stick in the ground and it will grow.
    Love to you and the Pam Fam! Looking forward to your return!

  5. Pingback: Ted Talk Thursday ~ TEDx ~ What Society Expects | In Da Campo

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