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.

A Story on perseverance and faith

Here is a children’s story on the power of perseverance and faith that I wrote :Once a long time ago, there was busy town called Santa Tecla. Santa Tecla was filled with big giant buses who choked out smog . It had large malls filled with department stores and everyday more and more people started to stumble into the bustling town.

Yes, it was growing at a fast pace. The problem was that as it grew, they were cutting down all the trees around there. And the earth was so dry that it was very hard for anything to flourish…almost impossible.

Pretty soon the town awoke and realized how hard it was to breathe, and they tried very hard for something to grow. But it was in vain, as the sky was choked with darkness.

Many gave up and decided to leave. Pretty soon, Santa Tecla was a dry abandoned city. They called it the Dead City for a reason.

One day, a man came about who wanted to change things. He was young and impulsive and decided that he would give things a try.

Everyone warned him that it was fool’s game and it was not a good idea to try to let anything grow there. The city was festered with disease and darkness and there was no way out.

But Roberto Mendez smiled at them kindly. He told them ” Darkness is only the absence of light my dear friends. I am going to help dispel the darkness”.

They shook their heads and realized how stubborn he was. A reporter came in and wrote a piece on him, talking about the crazy man who tried to make things grow. Every day Roberto Mendez would get up and go to a small little patch of land in one of the most abandoned part of the town. It was near a large cracked wall and a huge ruined mansion. The dirt was so dry that it seemed like concrete.

But the crazy man would just sing to the earth and tell it ” Grow, grow my beautiful land try to grow grow
We all know know
You can sow sow beautiful flowers and trees
So we can attract all the bees
And dispel the dark
and make a beautiful park

People would come from all over to laugh at him. He would water the land but it seemed just as dry as before. ” Even if he does manage to get that little tiny patch of earth  to grow things what would be the point? The town is filled with concrete, the darkness in the sky will always continue”.

Time passed. Roberto continued to rise every day and water that dry patch of land. He would never despair if he saw no results. He believed with all his heart that it would happen. He would smile up to the sky and pray for the rain to fall.

One day, a 12 year old girl saw Roberto happily working on the dust.  Her name was Diana. Diana was small and kind and did not like it when people would come and point and laugh at Roberto.

She would watch him closely everyday. She even would sing along to his strange little song. One day , she saw a water can that her grandmother had abandoned. She grabbed some orange seeds her grandmother kept in a box and ran to Roberto with them.

She told Roberto ” Tell me, everyday you see no results yet you continue to water the land. Why do you persevere so much?”

He smiled and told her ” The sun is in the sky even when there are clouds. The ground still has dirt even if it is dry. We must always continue to try”.

She smiled at him and felt the ray of sun shine through her giving her strength. She felt that God had given them this gift. “We are the first people to accept this challenge, but soon there will be others, and they will continue the work long before we are gone…”

One day, the dirt became browner in color. The next day they were able to plant a seed in the ground. It was but a tiny seed yet they kept watering the seed day by day. The next day they planted another until they had a lot of tiny little seeds in the patch of land.

After awhile, Diana’s friends came to help and learned from the way they watered the ground and tried to do the same thing near where they lived. Little by little, patch by patch the land started to grow.

The reporter Mr. Fuss Bucket came back after many years of being away. By then, Diana and Roberto were older but they had a large group of people helping them . The garden was becoming large with big and powerful trees. Always the cynic, Mr. Fuss Bucket asked them ” How can you be sure we won’t make the same mistake again?”

Diana and Roberto told them ” We can’t really. We will never really know. The important thing is , mainly that we try  and we keep trying. And we share that learning with others ” Diana looked down and patted the head of a small boy that looked a lot like her.

The sun was setting. The clouds were begining to leave and you could feel the air was sweeter. The fruits were starting to show and Roberto gave them the quote of Abdul Baha once again :

The wise man does not work for the present moment but for the good results of the future. See in the winter how bare and lifeless the trees and plants seem, without leaves and without fruit. Suppose one should pass by at this time who knew nothing of the condition of the earth and saw a man ploughing it up and casting grain in the furrow. Would he not say, “How foolish this man is. He is troubling himself for no result, working for no purpose and wasting that which would give him food”? But in due time the showers descend upon the earth, the sun shines, the breezes blow and we see the result in great beauty and production. So is the work of the Holy Spirit in your hearts. The earthly sun is like the Sun of Truth; the rain is the shower of the mercy of God; the seed is the word of God; the air is the fragrant waves of His Holy Spirit and the soil is the hearts of the people”

As time passed, different people started to grow in their garden , and then dispersed the seeds in other places. It took a long time, but Santa Tecla became green once again.Image