Last Friday, I left my make up kit at home and had to go to class without make up after gym. It was my first time heading to class without make up and I felt very insecure about it. In fact, I was so insecure that I was considering skipping class just because I didn’t want to be seen without make up. I knew I shouldn’t have that mindset, so I forced myself to head there anyway. To my surprise, there were no difference in terms of how I got treated or how my classmates looked at me. No one mentioned about my face filled with acne scars; no one said that I looked tired or different; the only remark that I got was from a classmate who noticed my Whistler Bungee t-shirt and told me how she’s too afraid to do it.
I am not sure if you’ve read my blog post about why women put on make up dated a while ago, but in that post, I mentioned that the main reason women put on make up is because it makes us feel better about ourselves. I am much more confident whenever I have make up on and whenever someone praises my look. The internal me would be flipping my hair and shouting back, “Of course babe, I know I look fabulous!” whenever I am complimented. The make up has inevitably shone more of my proud and confident personality than I would have on my own.
The main reason that I am so insecure without make up was due to the shame and embarrassment I received when I was in high school. We all know that teenage years are one of the most sensitive times for us, yet it’s also the time we get the meanest remarks due to the lack of maturity in our peers. My boyfriend at that time teased me a lot about my look. He would laugh at my acne, my tanned skin colour (Asians love pale skin), my not-so-toned body which he considered fat, my height… everything. And it’s not like he did them on purpose to hurt me, he loved me a lot and was just a really straightforward and insensitive person. Being the 16/17-year-old that was yet to be exposed to the world and its many woman empowerment messages, I believed everything he said and thought of myself as the ugliest girl on earth.
I slammed make up on my face as much as I could. I put on layers and layers of foundation and concealer to cover my acne and acne scars; I chose foundations that were two tones lighter to appear paler; I drew really thick eyeliner to make my eyes look bigger… With the weather being super hot and humid in Malaysia, it really didn’t help with my acne, especially when I didn’t get the right knowledge to remove make up properly and take better care of my skin. Naturally, my skin condition got worse, and I wanted to put on more make up. It became a vicious cycle that made me dependent on cosmetics.
It wasn’t until the constant reassurance from my friends and surrounding that made me realize that I don’t look THAT terrible without make up. When I was launching my rebranded blog four months ago, I got my friend Rachel who is a make up artist to make me pretty for my photoshoot. She spent about an hour on my face and when it was done, I was surprised by the look. Besides the flawless concealing of my acne scars and the pop of red on my lips, the rest of the make up she did was so subtle. She told me she wanted me to look natural, so there were minimal eye make up and just a super natural shading. All I needed was to accentuate the features that I already have.
Rachel made me feel really pretty; not in a way that made me feel flawlessly beautiful, but confidently beautiful with what I already have. Instead of faking my look with thick eyeliners or falsies, I learned to embrace my features and be confident with them. I am still feeling insecure with my acne scars, so I am trying very hard to improve them by changing my lifestyle. I had been trying to drink lots of water, have lots of sleep and Vitamin C, change my skin care routine etc. It’s not an easy journey, but I am trying my best.
I actually made a video for this blog post. It is an idea inspired by Colbie Caillat’s Try music video. I LOVE the song and the message that she was sending in the lyrics: You don’t need to try so hard to impress others, you just have to get up and be confident with yourself. If you think that make up or even plastic surgery can make you feel better, you have my full support, but only after you give yourself a chance to try and embrace the look you already have. Chances are, you already look very beautiful and you just didn’t realize about it.
Even though I am very happy with how this video turned out, a part of me feels super weird and naked as my make up was peeled off at the end of the video. I really hope you like it. The main reason that I want to blog about it is to let you know that behind all my happy smiles and pretty selfies, I have my insecurities too. I know that there are many people out there who are struggling with the same problem and I want your voices to be heard. If you are willing to, post a “no make up” selfie of yourself, #iambeautiful and tag me @wendyvazzy on Instagram. It’s not a PR move or anything, I just genuinely want to see your confident pretty face, because I know how much courage it can take for one to be confident with yourself.
I am very grateful to all my friends who kept reassuring me that I am beautiful on my own. I was so ugly, but you made me beautiful again.