Aiden asks a lot of questions. For example, how he came out of my body (see previous blog for my answer), will life continue forever, what homeless people do when it rains….. I could go on. The other day he asked a question that stumped me. It was a seemingly simple question yet I struggled with an answer.
I was applying makeup to my face and had just finished foundation and moved on to my eyes as Aiden watched carefully, almost mesmerized as I applied undereye concealer, eye shadow and eyeliner. I was JUST about to apply mascara when he said, “Mommy, why do you put that stuff on your face?”
I honestly didn’t know what to say. Why do I? I couldn’t tell him that this ‘mask’ makes me feel better about myself. That it helps hide my insecurities. That I have wrinkles that I need to cover. That I’m trying to conceal the stress of my life with a shade of beige. I couldn’t tell him any of that. I didn’t want him to know that wearing makeup makes me feel more confident. That it takes finishing powder and blush to feel at my best.
I kept my answer short and sweet, yet still honest. I told him that I like to wear it because it looks nice. He wasn’t convinced and was even more confused. “But you don’t need it. You look prettier without it”. Ahhhhhhh <ugly cry here>. Right then and there, I tossed all my expensive Mac makeup in the garbage and washed my face and haven’t worn a stitch of makeup since. There is no blush brightening these cheeks. HA! No. While I wish I could tell you that that was the case, it wasn’t. I hugged and thanked him ……and I continued applying my mask.
That seemed like the better response than this: “That’s sweet, Aiden, but I don’t agree. You see, I don’t like my skin enough to let anyone see me like this. I was blessed with acne as a teenager and am now left with scars. In fact, I’m 38 years old and still get blemishes (and pick them). Also, my undereyes are purple so I need to cover that shit up!”. That’s what I wanted to say. But I never because 1) I didn’t want him to think that I loved myself any less when I wasn’t wearing makeup and 2) HE DOESN’T SEE ANY OF THAT.
There are only a select few people who have ever seen me without my makeup on. I won’t go to the mailbox without undereye concealer. I’d go to Walmart in pajama pants over a naked face. Not happening. I don’t always have a full face of makeup on, but you can bet your ass I have undereye concealer and eye shadow on at almost any point throughout the day. If you come knocking at my door at 8pm, there’s a good chance I have no bra or socks on, but I have my eyes concealed. Heck, when I was in labor I was reapplying eye shadow in the luxury suite of my hospital room. True story. It should have been the farthest thing from my mind (and trust me, a few hours later it WAS), but in that moment I was scared and wanted to feel like me. So, I made sure I had nice eyelids because I knew things were going to get ugly. Lol
This has nothing to do with me being vain (I’m the farthest thing from it, trust me). It has to do with self confidence. I wear natural looking makeup so I probably don’t look much different when I’m not wearing it, but it makes me feel more confident. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing, it’s just a hard thing to explain to an 8 year old child.
I love that Aiden loves me for the skin I’m in. That he sees me as beautiful when I roll out of bed, all puffy eyed with bed head. I wish I could see myself through his eyes. He doesn’t look at me and see imperfections that need to be smoothed with real life filters. He’s not spending his tooth fairy money on creams promising to reduce my fine lines and wrinkles in one week. He doesn’t care that I found my first grey hair. He thinks I’m beautiful JUST THE WAY I AM.
He may think I need a haircut (he’s told me so), but when it comes to my skin he now knows that I wasn’t born with it. It’s Mac (not Maybelline). He just thinks I should break up with Mac and embrace what I WAS in fact born with.
Maybe he’s onto something.