I think, when it comes down to it, that I’m too lazy to be beautiful…

“When I was your age…I wish I’d known that I already had everything I needed within myself to be happy, instead of looking for happiness at beauty counters.”- Ilene Beckerman

I had ordered a drive through McDonalds earlier this week and had just pulled up to the second window to collect when a young girl opened the windows and I just stared. It was difficult to hide the surprise I felt when I looked at her as I couldn’t get past the fact her neck was a few shades lighter than her face, her eyes were dark black and her eyelashes looked so heavy I was amazed she could blink. Here was a young girl, clearly pretty, caked in make-up fit for an actress on the stage about to go under severe lights and having to be seen from a distance.

I really wanted to ask her why she felt she needed so much make up. Her skin was flat and toneless, yes it was flawless but hiding all the blemishes meant that she hid everything that made her, well, her. There were no distinguishing features, no freckles, changes in pigment just a matt flat face. Her black kolled eyes were nothing to her lashes though. Again, caked with mascara it would be enough for my eyes to start watering.

Once I’d noticed this girl, I looked about and noticed more young girls wearing just as much make up and felt a little sad. Were they putting on a mask ready to confront the world or wearing a mask to hide from it…? I couldn’t figure out, I don’t know them all but I know that being someone who rarely uses makeup (even then it’s just a bit of mascara and lipstick) it’s a big event when I put make up on. That got me thinking –why don’t I wear make-up? I was given my first proper make-up when I was 14 and I thought it was wonderful. The smell of eye shadow and the gorgeous colours available meant it was special in many ways for me. My mother clearly had put some effort into my present, getting the right shades for my skin and I was over the moon. I used it all the time and people commented on how grown up I looked. But then I slowly stopped. I felt self-conscious when people made comments, I wore less and less until I didn’t wear anymore and by then my mother had left my father, and me, and I had no-one to turn to for advice. The make-up sat in a box, a special box, that I had found as this was the last present from my mother and it somehow reminded me of her.

I was always a bit of a tomboy and I suppose I still am. Jeans and t-shirts are my uniform of choice but I don’t pass up the chance to put a frock on and get my legs out. I make an effort with my hair, find those heels at the back of the wardrobe and yes, I put a little make up on. My boys tell me I am beautiful and for that moment I feel amazing. They always want to cuddle and kiss me I think they are somehow drawn to a ‘womanly’ woman, even from an early age. Still, the way they make me feel is always the best thing to start a night out; being told you’re beautiful by 3 wonderful sons is an antidote to most things life can throw at you.

I choose not to wear make up most days. I think I’m actual too lazy to bother. Perhaps if I wore some it would take away the tiredness and give me a bit of a glow. Maybe I should try it more. I have lines appearing on my face, mainly around my eyes. But I’ve had 3 children, goodness knows how many unbroken nights and I am 35. I’ve lived life and my face shows this. The laughter lines that frame my mouth no longer go when I’m not smiling but then if I have this scar from smiling and laughing, I’ll take it because there’s been lots of laughter in my family. I don’t think of covering them up, making my face flat and featureless because this is what makes me me and I wouldn’t change it.

I have sons and not daughters and in this instance I’m glad. My sons will never have to cover their face, try to make themselves more beautiful, so their skin will always feel the sun. But if I did have a daughter I would try to show her that she needs to accept who she is and what she looks like and use make up for those special times, to enhance what she already has and not to cover it up. I would tell her she is beautiful and that as she is loved she can do anything. It’s true that beauty is only skin deep but if you can’t see the skin then you’re missing out on a lot of the person.


About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
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7 Responses to I think, when it comes down to it, that I’m too lazy to be beautiful…

  1. Carol Eccles says:

    Wow – you are georgeous! And so are your 3 boys. I have a daughter, now 23 & a son, 19 – I wake up in the morning wondering ‘where did the last 30 years of my life go?” The truly sad thing for girls/women is that peer pressure gets in the way of so many aspects of life. The young girl in McDonalds is probably trying to keep up with her friends, maybe she doesn’t have a mum to guide her, maybe she is emulating her mum. I have tried to teach my daughter about makeup (she is now teaching me) and when/how much to wear; alas to no avail. Peer group pressure will unfortunately (nearly) always win out…. although, she did wear what I suggested to celebrate her 23rd b/day with her girlfriends. Go figure. And she looked beautiful.
    Enjoy your laughter lines – they have been well earned.
    By the time you get to my age I hope you will have earned many more.

    • That was lovely to read. I agree there may be many reason for the girl in McDonalds. Peer pressure is a wonderful and terrible thing. She was pretty but the make up didn’t enhance what was there at all. I’m finding, when I look through the magazines, that young girls are dictated to about everything they do, what friends to have, what to wear/not wear, how thin to be and I really don’t remember it being this bad when I was younger but then I always did my own thing…

  2. Carol Eccles says:

    Thank you & no, it wasn’t this bad back then. We didn’t have the papparazzi for one thing & so many so-called ‘celebrities’. So many people, also, don’t understand that the images in the magazines are either air-brushed or that the personality is ‘posing’ for a bit of self preservation.
    By the way – I’m loving your website & fb page. Thank you for sharing ❤

  3. Felicity Martin-Porter says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. I have never worn much make up because my mum didn’t wear much, but growing up I was the one at school with the crazy curly red hair and freckles while the other girls had perfectly straight, shiny hair and perfect make up (well at the time I thought it was perfect) and I was jealous of them.
    I look back at school photos, and yes while I really wish someone had introduced me to a good product to tame unruly hair, I’m glad I didn’t follow suit with the make up because you’re right, their necks were never the same colour as their face.
    I slowly started wearing make up as it was required of me for work but still it was the bare minimum.
    I was taken to a make up course by a very good friend of mine who always wears a lot of make up (never like the McDonalds girl though) and I have to admit it was fun. I now wear a little bit more and experiment with colours when I go out, but still for work, powder, mascara and a smidge of lip gloss tend to be it.
    I also think the culture of where you live has a lot to do with it. This friend of mine has since moved to the UK for a 2 year working holiday and now wears so much less make up because on the whole she says that the English are a lot tamer than the Australians.
    I still have unruly curly red hair and freckles but that’s me and I’m happy that way

  4. Gemma Brown says:

    I wear make up and I love it! My ex once told me that I could open my own chemist with the amount of cosmetics I own! I’m not very good at doing anything creative with my hair so make up is my thing. If you saw me sat at my desk today you probably wouldn’t think that I have much make up on – perhaps a little mascara or eyeliner. In fact I am wearing 11 (I think I’ve counted right) different types of make up on my face! Despite this my look is natural.

    I don’t understand why these young girls feel the need to cake themselves – they need lesson on ‘less is more’ and what is with the ‘fly eyes’?? It’s a shame – I do hope my son never brings home a girl that looks like that!

  5. Tracy says:

    What a lovely read Emma and you clearly are beautiful and have a beautiful family.
    I don’t wear much makeup except for special occasions , mainly because it’s too much effort and my day time job as a cleaner doesn’t require a made up face.
    I am 44 this year and due being born with a hormone deficiancy , I look much younger than my 44 years , I used to hate looking younger and consequently plastered the makeup on just to add a few more years , I must have looked liked the young lady in Mc donalds but now I have accepted this is me and no longer hide behind a made up face. I have finally accepted who I am. I have two sons 23 and 14 so the makeup and short skirt scenarios are not going to be an issue. (Thankfully)

  6. Caroline says:

    It find myself wondering if these young girls genuinely think the Barbara Cartland Satsuma look is attractive, or if they do it just because everyone else seems to. I hope my daughter doesn’t grow up thinking she has to cake herself in make up and wear hardly anything to be “attractive”. For my part, I am teaching her that the natural look is best by not wearing make up, throwing on whatever clothes I come across first in the morning and only brushing my hair when I (inadvertently) catch sight of myself in a mirror. Yes, okay, I’m just lazy, but it might still work.

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