It's not about if :: it's about why
In college my boyfriend worked at the local grocery store and he often worked morning shifts, which is when I preferred to schedule my classes. So, most days we wouldn’t see each other during that time but if I wanted to pop in I knew I could always find him and say hello.
Well, one day I was super pumped about a project I had completed in one of my classes. It was a favorite class learning something I just loved and I had just completed the biggest project to date and did better than I ever hoped. And I wanted him to see what I had done. Joy is better when shared, right?
So I pop over to his work and peek at the cash registers to see if he’s there. He’s not. I get a few strange looks but I don’t care, I’m excited. So I go searching up and down the aisles looking for him on the floor. More strange looks. They don’t even register.
Finally I see him.
And he sees me.
And then I see his face. Sheer terror.
It takes me a moment, but it finally clicks what I just did.
You see the class was make-up for stage (theatre design BFA holder right here, remember). The project was special effects make-up. And I had chosen to recreate a car crash victim.
As I mentioned at the beginning, it looked good. Good as in realistic. Good enough that people were seeing this bloody, bruised and cut up face walking around the grocery store and were concerned. Good enough that my boyfriend saw me and thought something had happened. Good enough that I probably should have thought a bit more about whether or not I should just go out in public looking like this. Not because I cared. But because people are inherently good and they cared and were concerned.
I had been too excited about what I had created to even think about how others might react.
So, when people today assume that de-centering appearance means I don’t think people should care about style or wear make-up, I just have to laugh.
I love make-up. More specifically, I love sometimes bloody special effects make-up. But it’s still make-up. It’s fun. It’s playful. It’s a way to express yourself and tell a story. Special effects make-up or beauty make-up - it doesn’t make a difference. It’s still expression. Same with style.
I don’t care what you choose or how you choose to adorn yourself.
I just hope you approach it like I did my project that day in college: Too excited with what you create to even think about how others might react.