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I have found myself more relaxed with certain aspects of my body the past few months.
I remember as a teen, it was basically normalized to be obsessed about your body in a way that doesn't even make sense and that you hopefully, usually, grow out of; at least I did, gradually, but did most of my growing the past year or so, I think.
I remember that I would not let myself wear anything that wasn't skin tight because I didn't wanna appear fat. For some reason I couldn't see that it is very obvious if someone is really fat or wearing something oversized, I don't know why.
I remember being obsessed about making sure nothing near my stomach bulged out. When I sat down, I pulled down what I wore (top, jacket, etc.) down very forcefully so nothing could suggest I had rolls. I pulled my pants over the natural, normal little roll you get when you sit. I remember I hated wearing jackets with zippers because they would bulge so easily.
I remember scrutinizing my body in great detail, down to pores and marks and scars and individual hairs. I genuinely, unironically thought if someone saw just a little hair where "it shouldn't be" then they would instantly hate me.
I was terrified someone could see the little hairs on my upper lip. I shaved my pits every other day, I was terrified of pubes showing in a bikini, I shaved my legs and even my arms.
I had to control everything about my appearance. Meticulous makeup, tons of hairspray so that my fringe could be lifted up like a lid and never moved by its own, so no one would see my forehead that I was intensely insecure about. Constantly deodorant with me and refreshing because I was terrified of smelling bad. Brushing my hair often (the parts aside of my fringe).
I think I was constantly pushing and pulling my clothes, readjusting my hair, checking my makeup and so on that retrospectively, while I thought nothing was wrong, it was sooo wrong and distracting and very uncomfortable.
I still have some control issues with my body, but not nearly as bad. I like wearing oversized stuff, I don't care about stuff adding volume or bulging. My hair hasn't seen hairspray or foam or gel in a long long time and it just falls how it wants to. I haven't dyed it in years and I cut it myself. I don't carry a brush or deodorant with me everywhere anymore because it's fine.
I don't shave the ends or overly pluck my brows anymore, just 4-5 stray hairs every few weeks. I don't shave my legs or arms anymore. I still admittedly get a bit nervous when it's warm and I wear something that shows it; I wonder if it actually ruins my look or makes me look unclean, but I usually overcome that and it's a great men repellant in public transport when you're wearing something revealing. I have stopped shaving my armpits recently and I also stopped shaving in the underpants zone (cutting is enough and nicer for my skin). I wear a lot less makeup than in the decade before and usually go days and sometimes weeks without any. I used to do a full face basically, with primer, foundation and highlighter and drawing the ends of the eyebrows on in a different angle, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, fixing spray etc.
now it's either nothing or a bit of eyeshadow and brown, non-liquid eyeliner and a bit of lipliner.
I also now prefer weird, expressive makeup over conventional makeup where the only goal is to make you more beautiful or enhance some features in a very predetermined way. I love drawing patterns on my face like hearts, triangles, dots, lines etc. even if it doesn't make me more beautiful. I also want to get some little crystals to glue on my face some time. The only issue that remains is the ingrained shame that if you don't put makeup on, you're not putting effort into yourself or your relationship or not honoring a specific occasion. It is just so expected to use makeup to show your partner that you wanna look beautiful for them, or that you should put it on for dates or Valentine's or Christmas or your birthday or a fancy dinner etc. There's still this idea that you could convey to someone that you don't care enough, or don't love them enough, don't wanna impress them anymore. One of my ex girlfriends was mad I only put sophisticated makeup on for work, and only very basic makeup at home, and demanded I make myself pretty to go grocery shopping with her because otherwise I wouldn't love her. I think that one really cemented that fear in me.
The makeup thing is especially freeing because the stuff is just a hassle. I love not having to check if the foundation has creased or melted or is accentuating dry skin patches. I love being able to lie down, cuddle people or rub and scratch my face without leaving my makeup everywhere, towels and beanies included. I love that contact with something doesn't immediately wipe half of my eyebrow off. I love that I don't have to worry about how my blush, my highlighter or downright contouring looks from the side (usually ridiculous). I can eat and drink whatever I want and not worry about my lipstick. I love that I don't feel like I look horrible when half my eye makeup disappears. Actually, I love being able to rub my eyes and look normal. I love not having to buy all these products or replace them, and I love not having to worry about if there is any better product out there. The obsession with a foundation that will make your pores disappear and won't crease or cake is insane. It's never gonna look like your skin for more than an hour or two.
I have internalized that a bit of smudged makeup or none at all, and a bit of hair, maybe even on my upper lip, doesn't mean shit to other people. It might mean to insecure teens and they'll point it out in front of others, but I have nothing to do with teens so I don't have to care. I can prioritize my comfort and how I wanna look and feel over weird trends and others' opinions, and that's so freeing. So much money I am saving too, so much space from not going from unfinished product to new product searching for the one that will deliver the unrealistic promise. All I do to my hair is a bar of hair soap, occasionally a bar of conditioner, and Olaplex. All I do to my skin is having aloe vera gel, a moisturizer, occasional hyaluronic acid and a sun block.
𓇽 ° . ༻ 𓈒 ꒪ ๋ ° .𓏲⠀ ๋࣭ ♡ ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ⋆ ֗ ִ ᨒ .⋆ﾟ. ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ♡ 𓂂 ◌ 𓇽 ° . ๋ 𓂂 ⠀✼ 𓇽