Are you hiding your beauty in plain sight?

Is your beauty in hiding?

Over a very fun but exhausting weekend with a regular client and dear friend, a drag queen, a comment flew off her lips and hit me squarely on my ego. "Why are you hiding?" she asked, referring to my simple styling and natural makeup choices.  Her comment, although intended to inspire me to flaunt my inner diva more outwardly and regularly, provoked a more serious inquiry.  Am I indeed hiding behind the label of natural beauty and comfort?

I've always been a fan of the illusive standards of beauty and fashion, completely enamored by the female rituals of beautification and the laborious effort involved in presenting oneself to the world. Could this self proclaimed fashion and beauty fanatic have slipped away into mediocrity, skipping the hour+ of primping and opting to go out sans makeup? Am I truly not wanting to put my "best face" forward?

My personal evolution of self care, attention to my outward beauty, fashion and social relevance has taken many forms over the decades.  Being one who has suffered from insecurity, feeling the need to perfect my outer shell to gain more approval and acknowledgement, wanting to prove my worth and skill as an artist, I have been guilty of putting more emphasis on the labels in my closet, neglecting to recognize the beauty of being truly vulnerable in my natural, unadorned state.  

It's taken years to get comfortable in this unique body and I am very happy to say that I feel younger and more confident every day.  I feel equally beautiful wearing bold makeup looks and choosing to keep it soft with only moisturizer and mascara.

So, am I hiding my beauty? With a mischievous grin, I respond, "No, I am not hiding!" I confidently and quietly proclaim that the mask of perfection has been lifted; the veil of mystery that hides my true beauty, my real self - good ole me - is proudly being flaunted in plain sight without layers of "perfecting makeup", the latest fashion or a freshly coifed 'do.  I am delighted to say that after years of feeling insecure in my own skin, pressured to keep up with the latest beauty icon, I now embrace my natural beauty.  I still passionately love the art of makeup, fashion and ornamentation but not as a means to cover or change ourselves rather to playfully indulge in the joys of being alive and female!  Have fun experimenting with new colors. Express yourself with makeup, hair and fashion. It can be liberating!

As we start the new year, let us bow with deep appreciation to the beauty that radiates from us all.  Embrace beauty in all forms, whether she is flawlessly made up in sexy stilettos and a bold red lip or keeping it simple in her tinted moisturizer and cozy sweater. This is a call to not use beauty and fashion as a measuring stick on ourselves or others. Take another look, you just might be surprised at the beauty each of us has to offer.

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Signing off in pastel hair and fuchsia stained lips!