Today, I probably have completed almost two months without wearing makeup. The reason ? A stye infection in my upper left eyelid. I don’t mean for this post to be a detailed medical record of my misfortune but a sort of reflection about mascara, random bumps on eyes, and society.
I woke up one day with a swollen left eye. I went to the doctor and she assured me it wasn’t serious and stye infections go away after a week. What she failed to mention is that my ‘little’ stye infection liked having a warm place to stay and decided to stay in my eye for almost 3 months now. Of course, since I now have a bump in my eyelid, I cannot wear makeup and it is killing me.
People often ask me does it hurt or does it bother me. It doesn’t bother me, well at least not physically. But what bothers me is the notion that there is a lump there and most importantly I cannot wear makeup. I am not a girl who necessarily needs to have a full makeup to leave the house but I do like to look the least bit pretty. What I realized is that I don’t really care about the stye camping out in one of my vital organs, no. What I really cared about is me not being able not to wear makeup ergo not look the way I want to look. This particular thought made me realize, and I recoil at the thought, that I now associate being pretty, or the least bit attractive, to having colored sticky chemicals on my face. Why ? Everyone knows the answer and it is something that is plastered in every blog on the internet and has become one of those ‘topics’: body image, the media’s effect on women’s image, the power of cosmetics blah blah blah. But what really frightened me is that sadly it is true. We, me included, are all under the same spell: we need to look a certain way to look pretty and ergo be accepted and spend a lot of money in the process.
When I’d complain to my friends about this issue they’d be kind enough to tell me “you don’t need makeup Nima” and I thank them for their kind words but I can’t help myself not to really believe them. There is still this voice inside my head that keeps saying that you’ll never look half as good as you want to if you do not wear makeup. As depressing as this thought might sound it is nonetheless true and is indeed a sad reflection on our society, because after all, beauty, like money, is a socially constructed phenomena.
My journey with my bumpy eye has opened up insecurities I never actually thought about before. Although it wasn’t a pleasant journey, I learned to love myself makeup less and try to make it work “au naturel”.
As cliché as it might sound, to all the girls out there I say, love yourself just the way you are, or at least try, because you never know when your upper left eyelid will decide to grow a bump. Believe me, it happens and you better be prepared. With no mascara needed, at least I saved some money !