No Makeup? Hello Confidence!

Hi beautiful!

I first want to apologize for my lack of contributions to the site as of late. Anyone else notice their lives becoming more hectic and feeling less motivated around the holiday season? That’s exactly where I’ve been the past few weeks. Buuuuuut…I’m back and I have an amazing story to share! Recently a dear friend (and sorority sister) reached out to me and shared details about her decision to go makeup free, due to some concerns about her skin. Today I want to celebrate Heather’s journey toward self-love. Her story below…

 

I stopped wearing makeup full time back in April, around the same time that I quit my job as a Beauty Advisor for a major cosmetics brand. This is no coincidence; being forced to wear a full face of makeup every day really made me start to hate makeup.  I thought I was just going to take a week off from my normal routine to let my skin feel fresh air for the first time in months and perhaps recover some of its vitality. I’ve always believed that fresh air is the best medicine for anything that ails you. During those first few days, I felt extremely vulnerable. I have adult acne, blotchy red skin, and very light eyelashes, and man, did I really start to notice. I did not feel pretty and I had a hard time looking people in the eye. To be fair, this wasn’t far off from how I acted before I forwent makeup. I’ve always been very self conscious.

I assumed that makeup was the cause of my acne and that it would clear up if I continued to refrain from wearing any. It also didn’t hurt that I got to sleep in a few extra minutes every day, and I saved tons of money . So I decided to go bare-face for the foreseeable future. I figured, everyone always says that things have to get worse before they can get better. And, if I just push through for a few weeks, I’ll come out on the other side in a plush, green field with a smooth complexion. I’ll be happy. Maybe my eyelashes will grow too.

I became obsessed with my skin, watching the ebb and flow of my acne cycle, incessantly picking at my face, and researching every “fix it” solution I could find. Eventually, this stressful routine exhausted me enough that I gave up and just stared at myself every morning. Quickly, I noticed that when I stopped using makeup to cover up my problems, I could identify exactly what those problems were. I actually paid attention to cause and effect. I realized that my skin looked bad when I felt bad- when I was sad, my skin looked gray, when I ate terribly, my skin felt oily, and when I felt stressed, my skin literally hurt. On the flipside, when I felt happy, my skin glowed, when I was relaxed it felt fresh, and when I ate right, my skin just felt like skin.  Let me tell you, hydration, sleep, and leafy greens are definitely miracle workers. Sometimes you just can’t fight the sad though- in those times, I drink a glass of O.J. and move on!

After a while, I stopped fretting over how people would judge my bare face. You could say it was a concerted effort, but I’m pretty sure I just grew tired of my own self-obsessed shit. This is my face, it’s a representation of me, it’s mine. I am a person who runs the gamut of human emotions and sometimes I just want a piece of cake! And my face is going to let you know it!

After I got used to my reflection sans makeup, I started to feel pretty again, pointing out features I’ve hidden since I was about thirteen. Did you know that my eyes are actually mostly green with a brown ring in the middle that dominates from far away? Did you know that I have the cutest freckle on the tip of my nose? Have you ever seen the slight pink rise in my cheeks when I’m flushed with excitement? I didn’t either. Turns out, I was accidentally masking some of my best features, pieces of who I am, for fear that people would, I don’t know, notice me?  

Also, I felt damn beautiful when a breeze would blow by and caress my bare cheeks. It didn’t matter if I had cystic pimples peppering the hollow of my cheeks, or tiny blackheads dotting my t-zone. *Ahem*, I definitely noticed that they were there, I just didn’t give a fuck anymore. Once I stopped fearing how people were going to respond to my face, I felt like I could actually face them. Once I stopped caring what my face looked like to other people, I stopped caring what the rest of me looked like too. I bought a bikini this summer AND wore it out in public! Say what!!

And once I stopped caring what people thought about my appearance, the more room there was in my brain to share my actual thoughts… out loud. Turns out, I’m pretty funny when I let my guard down. Now I feel most pretty when I’m laughing, usually at myself, with other people around, which really has nothing to do with appearance at all- thank God. Even my Instagram has started to reflect more of my personality. I like to share things that other people might find relatable- like a video of me screaming in my car in frustration at the election, or a picture of the ridiculous looking outfit I wore last Sunday. I knew I was hiding my imperfections when I wore makeup but I didn’t realize just how deeply I was hiding who I was. To be fair, I still wear makeup sometimes. I love makeup, I’m just not using it as a shield to hide from the world anymore, “and,” in the words of Robert Frost, “that has made all the difference.”

Oh, and P.S, my eyelashes, to my knowledge, did not get any longer or fuller. But who cares, amiright?

This woman inspires me constantly. She’s incredibly intelligent, self-aware, compassionate and hilarious. And I mean come on….look at this babe!

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I hope Heather’s story has inspired you to ensure your health is a priority, and it encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone. It’s there that the largest surprises await us.

Wishing you all a week filled with bold confidence and spirit. Remember to be true to yourself, and as always, be good and do good.

Thanks for reading loves!!

To the lovely Ann Coulter…

YOU are the reason so many young girls have body image issues. YOU are the girl that made my life hell in school. YOU are a horrendous representation of a woman. YOU are the female version of Donald Trump. Rude, self-centered, and a bigot.

In case you are not aware, Ann Coulter decided to tweet comments about the protests last night. Her exact Tweet stated, “Without fat girls, protests wouldn’t exist.” She then posted a picture of female protesters and stated, “I guess marching around waving signs is some exercise, but they also need Atkins”. You can read the story here.

Here’s my message to you, Ann.

First I’d like to point out the obvious fact that you have been given the precious opportunity to have a public voice in the world. So here’s what I don’t get…why in the world would you use that voice to tear down other women?? Are you that unhappy with yourself? Have you been so poisoned by the misogynistic, privileged white males in your life, that all you know is to judge and criticize other women due to your own inferiority? You have chosen to offend an entire group of women who have been judged and mistreated due to their outer appearance most or part of their lives. You know what honey…big freakin whoop…this isn’t new for us. I’m not angry at what you said, I’m angry that our society has failed you so miserably that you don’t know how to treat other women, besides through the use of words and actions wrapped in hate. You have the power to demonstrate love and compassion for other women, but yet, you choose to hate and discriminate. You choose to influence the minds of young girls, teaching them to believe that different body types are not allowed and being different is a crime. You are the girl in school that may have been “pretty” but secretly, everyone knew you were a little shit.

I feel sorry for you, and to be honest, I don’t even understand why you’re relevant. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Second, YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT FAT WOMEN LEAD PROTESTS. Fat women have had to fight for appreciation and fight like hell just so their voice can be heard. Really, we’re professional protesters. We will not be quiet and we will not fade into the distance.We will speak our truth and fight for what’s right.

Fact is, there are plenty of men (such as the oh-so-peachy Donald Trump) whom we have endured hateful words and treatment from all the time, what’s truly painful is witnessing a woman who encourage such hatred. I really hope you’re happy with yourself and can rest easy. But don’t worry, we’ll just be over here waiving our signs for exercise and concurring the world one day at a time.

Sincerely,

A fat woman on a mission.

**Disclaimer: it’s been an emotional week over here, and this has really been the last straw. I really needed to write this and hope ya’ll can understand. May love, understanding, and hope fill you up this weekend.**

But How Do I Even Start?

*Disclaimer* I realize that this post isn’t related to the mental health series I highlighted in my last post, but due to an experience that occurred this week I’ve decided to share the story below with you. I felt in my heart it was necessary. Also, I’ve been slacking lately in posting due to a million things going on, I hope ya’ll can understand and trust that more is coming! Okay…on to this week’s post:

 

I don’t know if this happens to other people, but whenever I go to places like the gym or the grocery store, strangers seem to start up conversations with me. Personally, I look at these interactions as an opportunity to possibly learn from someone or the experience itself. Well this week in the locker room at the gym, a lady using the locker next to me seemed to feel compelled to start a conversation by stating, “don’t you just hate coming here?”.  I laughed and said, “well sometimes, but I actually enjoy taking some time for myself”. She responded with a simple nod and stated, “I only come here because I need to shrink this fat ass of mine”. I kind of chuckled (seeing as though this woman was maybe a size 4/6 and I’m much heavier than her) and said, “I understand, I used to be the same way. I used to only come to the gym because I didn’t like my body and I wanted to lose weight, now I come here with a more loving purpose”. She asked me what I had meant by that.  I went on to tell her that I now go to the gym because I love my body and want to do something good for my soul, rather than coming because I hate my body and wish it were different. She looked at me like I had six heads and had little to say in return. I then said, “self-love is something I’ve had to work hard for (and still work towards daily) but I promise you it’s worth it and it will change your entire life”. She stopped dead in her tracks, looks at me, and says, “but how do I even start?” I kind of stuttered over my words and really didn’t know how to answer. Ultimately, I told her that a culmination of practicing taking care of herself and finding things that build confidence in her life would help kickstart her journey. She thanked me and then left the locker room.

I’m not going to lie, this conversation really stuck with me this week. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t articulate how to start the journey of self-love to this woman, let alone leave her with no resources to help her through self-doubt. I mean…this is my passion in life, how could I not know how to answer her??

After much thought, I wanted to share with you all the steps I have personally taken to begin cultivating self-love and confidence in my life. I understand that the process of finding self-love looks very different for each person and I’m truly no expert on the topic, I just want to share my personal steps in case there is someone out there stuck in the “how do I start?” place.

Here’s a few ways you can encourage a life rich in confidence and self-love: 

1.) You MUST be mentally and emotionally open to wanting self-acceptance in your life. Just like anything involving change, you have to be ready for it.

2.) Find your words of affirmation. Find words that uplift you, practice them, and say them every chance you get. Personally I enjoy morning affirmations which include something like, “yassss girl, you are strong, beautiful, empathic and ready to change the world”. Say what makes you feel good and what compliments your strengths. Because really? Life’s too short to wait around for someone else to say kind words about you, compliment yourself honey!

3.) Choose your group selectively. Surround yourself with people who are good in nature and also good to you. Healthy relationships can really encourage an environment of  positivity and confidence.

4.) Seek opportunities to build self-confidence. Essentially, work towards finding hobbies, talents, and adventures that build you up and make you feel good about yourself. For me, yoga is my hobby that provides me the opportunity for personal growth and self-appreciation. It could be something as simple as cooking yourself a bomb grilled cheese; soon after you’ll be saying, “I’m freakin’ Beyonce in this kitchen right now”.

5.) Set attainable goals and honor your word. I continue to work on setting small goals throughout the week or month that I know are pretty attainable and achievable. The confidence that comes from accomplishing a goal feels pretty amazing. Also, strive to honor your word by following through with what you say you’re going to do. This is also another huge confidence builder as it demonstrates that you have made yourself a priority and loved yourself enough to follow through with what you said you would do.

6.) TREAT YO’ SELF. Do something at least once a month that you love and is completely dedicated to celebrating YOU.

treat-yo-self

 

Finding self-love is the most rewarding experience, you begin to talk differently, socialize differently, work differently, and think differently. My hope is that these steps provide small ways for you to start to incorporate self-love and acceptance into your daily thoughts and life, because let’s be real, you deserve to love yourself.

As always, be good and do good in the world.

Thanks for reading loves!!

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