What I Wish I Knew

What I Wish I Knew: Make Up (Part 1)


Dear My Fresh Faced Friends,

Growing up is confusing. Being a teenager is difficult. This column is my way to share with you what I have learned in the past decade (oh my god I became a teenager TEN YEARS AGO) and hopefully give you a little support or insight. I am going to be utterly honest with you, I promise! So tell me what you want me to write about and come back here twice a month to check out What I Wish I Knew.

We are going to start out with What I Wish I Knew about makeup!

One summer when my Grandma came to town the family all met up in a nice italian restaurant for her birthday. The hostess shoved all of my aunts, uncles and cousins around the biggest table in the back area of their over-decorated dining room. Wine bottles hung from a ceiling covered in fake leaves. I was awkward;; I was thirteen;; I never wanted anyone to notice me. We all settled into our seats and the
chatter died away.

“Are you wearing eye makeup?”

I knew the comment from my uncle was directed at me because, yes, I was wearing eye makeup. A bit of black liner along the bottom of my eye. Two little lines beginning my journey into makeupland.

Honestly, I do not recall how I responded to the question, most likely with a meek “yes” while my head tilted down, my shoulders somehow hunched farther inward and the noise of the table debating faded away. I do though, quite clearly, remember how it made me feel – judged. All the attention of my family suddenly on me, suddenly on the fact that I was growing up, suddenly speculating on whether or not I was old enough to start caring about my appearance or if the way that I cared was appropriate.

From the very beginning my makeup was more about the people looking at me than it was about me. This understanding took me years to undo.

Makeup is about you. No makeup is about you, too.

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