Confession time: I personally am still coming out of a beauty&fashion-hermit phase. Last year I wrote my Master Thesis, and did yoga. That was pretty much what I did most of my days. Sit behind a computer and panic over data or stand around in weird postures in a hot and humid room.
As you can imagine, that did not inspire a lot of enthusiasm for make-up. Nobody would give an absolute fuck that I created smokey eyes for my day of statistical analysis. Also, the slightest hint of eyeliner meant I’d look like The Joker after yoga. Same with clothes. Wearing heels after bending in all different directions, only to sit down behind a computer once again; not really worth dressing up for.
Now don’t laugh, but another reason for me not giving a shit about how I looked for a while was the new-found belief that I am pretty on the inside. I was always kind of worried about secretly being a huge bitch. Turns out this was just a teenage fear and I grew into a nice, inner-beauty type person. Awesome (I bet there’s a few high school people just as shocked as I am). I still believe this matters more than my beauty on the outside but for a while, I also thought this ‘excused’ me for not putting much effort into my appearance.
But then I graduated and got a job. How I look is definitely less important than what I do and say, to both myself and my students, but I realized I felt more comfortable during my job if I spent a little time and effort on my appearance: Mostly with basic, casual clothes, some favorite knitted dresses, lots of whites, comfy jeans, sneakers, big blue eyes behind glasses and my favorite sort-of-exploded hairdo. Nothing spectacular, just looking on the outside how I feel on the inside.
And that’s where I realized a few things.
- One: It feels good to match the outside with the inside. I am the casual self-help junkie with a love for hipster-items. I might as well look the part best that I can, because if I do, I feel more inspired to act upon the person that I believe to be on the inside.
- Two: Taking care of how you look sends a signal to yourself and about yourself.. It’s like ‘Hey. I’m worth dressing up. It’s fun. It makes me happy.’ To me, it’s a form of self-love and self-expression.
- Three: Not only does that little extra time and effort results in a well-groomed you, it also creates a more confident you. And it helps to be a more confident you in all sorts of different situations. You’re bolder, more outspoken, more adventurous and more awesome. If that needs a new pair of jeans and a layer of lipgloss, I don’t really see the crime in that.
- Four: People like looking at pretty things. It makes them happy. It sounds simple and slightly superficial, but it is true and it is not superficial: happiness is one of the most important thing of all. So, if I can influence someone else’s mood in a positive way by simply putting on lipstick in the morning, I might as well do it. Trying to be a positive force in the Universe and all that.
- Five: Whereas my appearance is only a fraction of the impression I leave on another human being, it is the first thing they see of me and who I am. I like that first impression to be inviting and pleasing to the eye: it helps with further contact.
Rest assured, I am no walking crazytrendy fashion statement with perfect make-up. I am still horribly incapable of the perfect winged eyeliner, I still need to learn to walk in high heels (again) and I don’t look very spectacular or special — which is fine.
But I did learn how to make a fishtail braid, becauseI think it’s so lovely and intricate. I like lots of eyeliner, smokey eyes and bombshell hair. I sometimes create a sleek hairdo, sometimes an exploded one. I even wear red lipstick every now and then, because I think it’s sexy. I know what clothes and colors are great on me and I love going out the door knowing I look nice.
Basically, I implement a little fashion and beauty stuff in my daily routine because it honors who I am, because it makes me feel good and because it can be fun.
Loving clothes and putting up make-up in the morning does not make you a shallow or stupid person. You can be a positive influence in the world just as easily with crazy-messy hair, dramatic eyes and wearing your favorite shoes, maybe even better. So you might as well.