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Face Painters

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Many people find this odd, but I have never worn makeup in my seventeen years of living…well, with the exception of that one time when I was about ten or so. This period of time remains with me as one of the most memorable moments I experienced in my young life.

I was with my cousins, the four of us secluded within one of their rooms, hidden away from the living room occupied with adults going over their adult business; spreadsheets, no doubt. Definitely not an interest to any of us. Within that room our topics of talk went from house pets to summer plans, and then I figure we eventually landed on the subject of makeup, although I cannot recall the specifics. My cousins knew that I, being a rather dedicated tomboy at the time, loathed the thought of wearing makeup.

In short, I ended up lying face up on the bed, with a cousin on either side trying to coax me to be still, stop fidgeting, and with the eldest hovering above my face, some silver contraption clasped in her hand and aiming for my eyelashes, reminding me of a tiny, shining guillotine. I was caught, with no escape, feeling like a helpless animal tangled in a bear trap, and the cousin above my head was handling all sorts of colored pencils and liquid brushes, my face a canvas beneath a determined artist. I imagined myself as one of those Barbie makeup toys, the busts that come with all sorts of tools and powders that you can experiment with. Except I was a living subject, not some plastic doll to be prodded at. Yet the torture persisted.

When my captors at last allowed me to sit up I immediately made a beeline for the nearest restroom. As I looked at my reflection in the mirror I almost wanted to cry. It wasn’t that my cousin had did a bad makeup job. She had used the earth tones that complemented my skin and hair. In fact, if I would have made an appearance before my parents in the living room they probably would have applauded, for this was indeed the very first time makeup had touched my face. They would have commented on how mature I looked, or how pretty. But still I wanted to cry because what I saw peering back at me was not myself, but some creation.

My face itched.

I washed -more like scrubbed raw- my face free from the work of my cousins, much to their dismay, and all the while I did not allow myself to cry. I have always been one of my toughest critics, and in my mind crying was not permitted. I refused at that moment to be defeated by merely some mascara and eye shadow. It took more than one washing to rid my skin of the last remnants of the stuff.

To this day that memory remains, although now I do not consider it as traumatic and scarring than I did at the time it occurred. I have concluded that my being a tomboy in my preteens is what led to the makeup free life I lead today. Though today I dabble in jewelry and even don a sundress now or then, the sight of makeup is still absent from my bathroom countertops. My reasons for disliking makeup today differ though from those of seven years ago when I had my first and last encounter with facial cosmetics, yet had I not been so eager to steer clear of anything that could be considered too ‘girly’ in my younger life, my future could have ended up very different; we will never know.

But today, as it seems to me the art of makeup has reached its high point, I feel almost liberated by daring to face the world as I am. Completely unmasked. I do not feel the need to hide behind a veil. I simply want people to see me as who I am.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Hayley said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm
great job keep up the good work and keep sharing!
 
Sonata16 said...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

This is wonderful.  I once wrote a story dealing with the same topic. Keep up the good work!

 

 
LIve13 replied...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm
I went through a similar problem... I didn't start wearing make-up until my freshmen year of college, and even then it was once in a blue moon. I feel the exact same way.. but Be true to yourself and people will like you just for that
 
zekephoto replied...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm
Thank you both for your feedback!
 
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