On Self Confidence, Identity, Makeup, and the Selfie

I once made a comment to an acquaintance of mine that I prefer not to leave the house without wearing makeup. We had been talking about our daily beauty routines and fashion. To be honest, I hadn’t really meant much by it when I said it, it was just a personal preference. I like to feel put together when I leave the house, and wearing makeup allows me to feel that way, while also expressing whatever image I want to give that day.

me stras
Me, feeling cute one day in Strasbourg.

The person’s response though, stuck with me. As soon as the words left my mouth, I could see a  spark of judgement in her eyes. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember what the exact wording of her response. But her reply was something along the lines of this: “Oh, well… I’m fine going outside without makeup on. I don’t need makeup to feel confident.” I was a bit shocked by the sudden hostility that I felt, and didn’t really feel the need to carry on the conversation anymore. But still, it stuck with me because that’s not how I felt at all, and I was a bit upset that that’s how she felt.

It’s not that I felt she needed to wear makeup, because she doesn’t. It’s her own personal preference, and I think that people should do whatever makes them feel happy, confident, and comfortable. If wearing as much makeup as a beauty youtuber makes you feel that way, then that’s awesome. And if wearing absolutely none makes you feel that way, then that’s great too.  But here’s the thing. To me, makeup is a form of self-expression. Depending on how I feel, what products I use and how I use them, I can make a different impression every time, and express different parts of my personality. I have no problem going somewhere without makeup. In fact, I do it often  I’ll even attach a bare-faced selfie here below.

Self-confidence is not something as purely simple as “I don’t need makeup, I’m confident and I love myself.” It can be that, if that’s what you need. But it can also be “I am confident in myself because I am free to express myself in whatever fashion I like.” I think that’s one of the most important and one of the hardest lessons I had to learn growing up. In the past, when I was in school, I seriously struggled with my self-image and self-worth. I let so many opportunities pass me by because I wasn’t confident enough to go after them, and after I grew up that is the one thing that I never want to do again.

Yes, I like to wear makeup. Yes, I love taking selfies, and posing and modeling for pictures whenever I get the chance. Because it’s fun. Because when you’re happy with yourself and how you look one day, it’s okay to want the world to see it. Maybe I’m a bit of a diva deep down, sure. But who cares?  A millennial posting selfies on Instagram can’t be any more vain then people way back when who sat in one position for hours just to get a self portrait of them painted.  A person’s identity is not black and white. Even as an adult, you are still growing, changing, and discovering things about yourself that weren’t there before. And it’s okay to want the world to see you however you like.  Whoever you are, whatever you want to give, it’s okay. You can do or not do anything that makes you feel confident and never let anyone judge you for it or tell you any differently.

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