On primping â€˜for funâ€™ and the surprising side effect of being Naked Faced.
Itâ€™s March! That means that Iâ€™m really and truly halfway through the Project, which ends on March 31. I definitely feel â€˜settled inâ€™ to being Naked Faced and, quite honestly, although Iâ€™m looking forward to a return to shaving my armpits, I am very happy being make-up free on a day-to-day basis. As a superficial side note, my skin looks fantastic naked â€“ I havenâ€™t had a single breakout since the Project started, a very rare occurrence indeed.
This week, I wanted to address two topics: primping â€˜for funâ€™ and negative self-talk.
Topic #1: Primping!
So when Molly Barker and I first began the Project, our goal was to discover our intention behind our beauty habits so when the little girls asked us, â€œYou say inner beauty is most important but then wear makeup and dye your hair â€“ what does that mean?â€ we would have an authentic answer. Basically, I had never immersed myself in the â€˜other sideâ€™ until this Project, so I wasnâ€™t entirely clear on why I did certain things â€“ Was it societal pressure? Habitual? Self-esteem related? Many of you remarked that you primp and wear makeup in part because you find it to be FUN! I really didnâ€™t think this applied to me. Shaving? Ugh. Not fun. Makeup? Meh. A chore! Wearing high heels? Totally uncomfortable.
After 31 days of being primp-free, I have to say one thingâ€¦ I was wrong! I do primp for fun (sometimes), and I really miss it.
My college girlfriends and I, for example, have a long-standing tradition of getting manicures and pedicures whenever we are together. I continue this tradition with some of my Charlotte friends. I also go to the salon solo about once every two months and get my nails done as a â€˜rewardâ€™ for completing a work project or as a stress-reliever. I miss getting my nails done a lot â€“ not because I miss the actual nail polish, but the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when engaging in this fun tradition.
I also really miss wearing jewelry! I never thought of myself as a big jewelry person, but Iâ€™ve caught myself gazing longingly at my jewelry box and yearning for earrings or a pretty necklace. Accessorizing my outfits is fun, too. And sometimes, putting on a fancy dress and heels feels great.
So, even though the Project isnâ€™t close to being over yet, I do feel like I have one honest answer for little girls â€“ I engage in certain beauty habits because they are just pure fun, and thatâ€™s totally okay. I never thought that Iâ€™d conclude this because of the Project â€“ I was so convinced that none of my habits were fun at all. And you know what? I really do derive a lot of pleasure from so many of my beauty habits.
Topic #2: Negative self-talk.
When discussing this Project with other women, one common remark that Iâ€™ve heard is, â€œI could never do that. I would just feel so badly about myself the entire time.â€ Although Operation Beautiful has become a very pro-positive body image site, the mission actually began because I felt really dumb and worthless in my professional life, like I was failing at my chosen career path. I struggle with an intense fear of failing and have perfectionist tendencies, but Iâ€™ve really reined them in and have learned to use my personality for personal good, not evil. Despite my strides forward, I was very concerned that the Project might trigger negative thoughts about my professional abilities as well as negative thoughts about my body. Especially considering all the massive body changes I am experiencing because of pregnancy, I thought giving up all my old beauty habits might make me feel unattractive and unconfident.
Surprisingly, the Project has had the entirely opposite effect.
I did initially struggle with giving up my habits, but about a week into the Project, I found that I was engaging in less negative self-talk than ever before. Itâ€™s almost like Iâ€™ve given myself a free pass to just enjoy being me â€“ on the outside and inside â€“ and Iâ€™ve never felt so comfortable.
And, by extension, Iâ€™m having less negative thoughts about other people (not that I had a lot of negative thoughts about others before, but I think we all occasionally judge the people around us, even if we find the habit horrendous). One thing that Iâ€™ve began to really process and understand as a result of this Project is how amazingly unique and wonderful we all areâ€¦ at the very core. I never couldâ€™ve imagined that simply temporarily giving up my beauty routine wouldâ€™ve had such a powerful impact. Itâ€™s truly been life-changing, and Iâ€™m so grateful that Iâ€™m going through this at this particular time in my life.
For more The Naked Face Project, be sure to check out Molly Barkerâ€™s musings.
Your turn to weigh in. Do you have fun engaging in certain beauty habits? Which feel more like chores? How did you beat negative self-talk?