Enjoy my writing and art? Want to see more? Support my work on Patreon!
I saw this quote a while back, which implied that if you respect yourself as a woman, you’ll put on makeup and fix your hair before leaving the house. It really ticked me off. There’s this idea going around, and it’s been around for a long time, that if a woman respects herself, she’ll fix herself up before leaving the house. Why the hell is that a thing?
I hate to break it to folks out there, but you can have plenty of respect for yourself and not wear makeup or have fancy hair. You can be an amazing person, you can love yourself, you can respect yourself and never own a single cosmetic product. You can have all of those things and never put products in your hair. What you do with your looks has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Makeup or bare-face, coiffed or natural, you are who you are.
It pisses me off that people think a woman is somehow less if she doesn’t “fix herself up.” Like there’s some standard we have to meet before we’re considered valid and worthy. So, someone needs to tell me, how much do I have to put on my face? Which products? How many layers? How long do I have to spend on my hair? What exactly are the qualifications? What are the requirements that I have to meet as a woman for someone to see me as a valid fucking person? It’s bullshit, it really is.
You don’t need makeup, or styled hair, or certain clothes, in order to be valid. You can respect yourself no matter what you wear. Yes, you should be clean, I’d say that’s reasonable. Make sure you feel good. Beyond that, none of it matters. You don’t need to meet anyone’s standards. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t have makeup on, or a fancy hairdo, or certain clothes. Your worth has nothing to do with any of that.
Now, can clothes or a nice ‘do or makeup make you feel better? Sure, sometimes, and that’s cool. If you’re into that, and you do yourself up, that’s great. Do that. Be yourself. But you don’t need any of it. Never let yourself feel like you have to be a certain way in order to feel good about who you are. Never think that you have to meet certain criteria before you walk out the door. Your value does not come from external things, it comes from within.
If you’re the kind of person who’s ever looked at a woman and implied that she needs to fix herself up before going out, realize that you were an ass, and don’t do it again. As long as that person is clean and dressed in a way that’s not inappropriate, that’s all they need. Do not make someone feel like they’re not enough in their natural, comfortable state. You know what? Some people feel far more confident in sweats, with no makeup, with their hair in a loose pony, and that’s cool. Some feel better with perfectly curled hair and lipstick and a dress. That’s cool too. Respect and worth don’t come from how someone appears to others. They come from inside, from knowing who you are, from loving yourself as you are. They don’t depend on the fleeting and utterly subjective opinions of other people.
We really need to put an end to this idea that a woman’s worth is tied to her looks. We are what we are, no matter what someone thinks of our appearance. And don’t think for a moment that this is just something men put onto women. Oh no, I’ve actually seen more women put this onto other women. Women who’ve been brainwashed by the “beauty” industry are perpetuating the lie that you have to get dolled up in order to feel good and love yourself, and they’re brainwashing other women into thinking “I do it for me.” Regardless of where it comes from though, it needs to stop. Looks are superficial, they don’t represent who someone is.
I’m going to clue you in on a little something too: true confidence is when you can just as easily go out bare-faced as you can with makeup, and you don’t feel less. It’s when you know your worth in baggy pants and a t-shirt just as you do in designer clothes. Your outside isn’t who you are. Respecting yourself, loving yourself, that’s all about what’s inside. You can do that no matter how you look, and you can have it when there’s no one looking. Self-worth has nothing to do with how you look. Never allow people to devalue you based on their opinion of your appearance. If they’re worth listening to, they’re going to look beyond the wrapper, and care about you, as a person, not the outer trappings.