Should Girls Wear Makeup?

There has been a rising ongoing centuries long debate about women and the role of makeup and the ” need ” for women to wear it.  When I was a dramatic 17 year old,  I wrote a poem called the ” Loss of innocence” in it I wrote :

And she painted her false lips

And killed the song of innocence

Bird in Flight Illustration by Maryam DiMauro
Bird in Flight Illustration by Maryam DiMauro

A younger friend told me ” But you are like that girl, you killed your inner beauty by wearing makeup”. This seems to be a weird idea, when you grow up you wear makeup. That’s why when  some girls reach puberty they spend their time playing dress up. You are taught to cover up your flaws, your spots , your wrinkles your hairs. You should be flawless, you should be photoshopped.

My mother always told me never to go out of the house after a certain age without makeup. Girls in my classroom and later on in life would always want to give me the ” Ugly Duckling” makeover.  They would tell me ” You would be so PRETTY IF you wore your makeup right”.

Then there is the other side of the argument. The naturalists, the people who tell you that you shouldn’t wear makeup to uphold a certain beauty standard, that you are beautiful because you are you, the unique person with flaws and all. My x boyfriend hated that I wore makeup, he told me I looked much better without it .

There is something problematic with all of these arguments. The problem lies not in the makeup itself but in the fact that we are seeking external validation of how we want to look in that particular day.  I like makeup. I like the smell of it , I like how it sweeps on my eyelids and makes different shapes. I’m artistic, so I love to experiment. But there are days that I just couldn’t care less and I just can’t be bothered. None of these reasons are to make myself attractive to other people. Makeup should not be a reason someone is beautiful but it can be a tool. Makeup can create different characters, explore new dimensions, and it is something people dedicate their lives to. It is also part of a multibillion dollar industry which wrecks havoc on women’s insecurities to make a buck as well as cause irreparable damage to the environment and to animals for no apparent reason other than corporate greed.

Like with everything else in life, it’s how you use something and not the object itself. What we need to remember is that real value of someone’s beauty comes from their soul, the way their heart sings from one place to the next. This does not change. This does not transmute. This transforms. This inspires. This is eternal, not the cake substance we want to put on our face.

Advertisements

Embracing Pain and Wearing your Battle Scars

 

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers ”  The Fault in our Stars

I came across an old poem of mine about my scars / pain that I was going through at the time and realized how stupendously self absorbed I was. Ah… the beauty of youth when you think you have it all figured it out. But it got me think of the subject of tests…

A friend of mine once told me that some tests are ones that we choose for it to happen, and there are those that happen because we need to grow. I wonder how he feells about this now, when he has such tests that he is in a wheelchair and half paralyzed with AIDS even though he is still relatively young.

Some sadness never leaves us. Some scars we will never truly recover from, and lay a heavy burden on our hearts.   There are cuts too deep to ever fully heal from. At times, like tonight they feel anew, and at others you feel saddened from a distance like watching a scene unfold that you wish went differently.

” Pain is like fabric. The stronger it is. The more it’s worth”. The Fault in our Stars

But sometimes we can get so caught up in our own version of sadness that we do not realize that out there, millions of people are suffering similar things.  We are not unique in our scars. Everybody hurts, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Instead, we put on a brave face to the world,  put on our masks to be accepted into society. We say, we’re o.k. and no one bothers to find out if it’s true because they too are wrapped up in their own pain.

And that pain, because a thing in of itself  a festering cancer which eats us up for awhile.  Or it can simply be buried so deep that you will only let it out on random occasions and it cuts so deep that people get scared by the ferocity of it’s pain.

No, we choose not to learn from the test. We become bitter, entrenched in our own case of sadness. We lock in ourselves and mistrust anything that comes along. We choose to believe in darkness . We can see darkness, we can taste it. But light? That require faith. That requires a will to get up and be brave.

It requires looking beyond yourself, and trying to serve others. Because if we did, if we got of our own head space we realized we weren’t that alone and we weren’t that different. And then we would channel that pain into learning, we would try to make and create an experience. If we are brave, we could realize that those scars , those scars are swords to make us who we are today. If we took it on ourselves to shine bright, to dream big to find beauty.  We wouldn’t let it win. Because our worst enemies? It isn’t those around us, it’s ourselves. 

 

i can see her clearly now
her voice echoed in cobwebs
A distant figure
blurred within time
a silhouette in a moon tinted beach
she comes to me in dreams
her eyes swallowed by goblins
There is something skitterish in her eyes
as her mouth overflows with snakes
Her chestnut brown hair ensared
Like children caught in cobwebs
her smile is pasted on carefully
Pieces that don't seem to fit quite right
She echoes softly to the moonlight
Making sure the rivers don't see her tears
Her eyes caress
Moon tinted beaches

She does not live in this world
But lives in glass and crystal

she echoes softly to the moonlight
so the rivers dont see her tears
her vest is open exposing her white lacy bra
but she is unaware of any sexuality
i see her eyes
carresss blue tinted skies
 
she does not live in this world
but one of glass and crystal
walking midnight gardens of jasmine
while black silhouettes wait for the darkness to 
descend quietly on circles i her eyes
her venus body creeping those horizons she is beautiful  lips
and bright smiles
but she doesn’t see it
her voice overflowing with rainbow



her arms cover from the storms of insults

ugly fat stupid clumsy...
she hovers in corners
and doesnt see the swords poking her back pocket
or the steel breast stitched to her side
 Blinded to  the light pouring out at her fingertips
she has no concept of evil
she lets the bruises descend on her once untouched ski
as they become scars
 she lets the words swallow her beauty
she lets them take away her rainbow words
and stow away her magic in ugly tinted jars
as she decides to die in gray twilight
 dear child
didnt u believe in the pumpkin?
she looks at me now
trying for me to forgive
the ghost i see before me
the rolls of fat that spill out
vanished beauty
but i am stronger now
i wouldnt want to take her back
there is a strange beauty
in imperfection
( poem written at age 18.... not sure if I have the same perspective now :) 
I love this quote from Abdul Baha about suffering :

 “The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most.”

Image