What happened when I stopped putting on make-up

It started almost by accident. One morning I sipped my coffee in a relaxed mood, when suddenly I came up with the deadline for a text – which obviously had already passed yesterday. Now every second counted! So, like a maniac, I raced to my co-working office, where I finished the thing. But no time for relief. Because immediately after my triumphal delivery, it started. "Is everything okay with you?" Asked a worried colleague. "You look kind of sick." At first, I had no idea what she meant. But then, washing my hands after the toilet, I saw it in the mirror: the pallor of a consumptive. Few eyelashes. And dark circles to the chin. Oha. So obviously this morning I forgot something obligatory in the act of fright: to put on make-up.


In the name of freedom

Foundation, rouge, mascara, lipstick. Since I was fifteen, I did this every morning. Or at the latest when I stepped outside the front door. That girls without fresh complexion were almost unacceptable, had me only the Bravo girl, later then the Cosmopolitan taught. Okay, I did not read them for a long time, but the sting was just deep. And besides, the others did it too. Even those who supposedly did not give a shit on the opinions of others were not so daring to say: BÄM, here you have my face as it is. No, they painted fuller lips and clung to longer eyelashes, and they did it in the name of freedom.

In fact, it is fortunate that we live in times when we can do pretty much whatever we want with our bodies. Nobody deforms us more with corsets, prescribes us lengths of clothing or forbids us to wear lipstick, because supposedly only prostitutes do so. Men are allowed to dress like women, women may dress like men, we may be fat or skinny, make-up and shaved from top to bottom or not at all. All our own thing.

Allegedly anyway. In reality, that's a completely different number. Because when someone breaks out, hardly anyone realizes it. About the unvarnished Alicia Keys at the VMAs, for example, two years ago, half the world came to life. And those who did not get excited called it "courageous." Of course, the refusal to show up at an event where you calculate with 23 kilos of putty per capita, quasi naked, requires a little self-confidence. But if you look at the heads, for which all this stuff is meant, it quickly becomes clear: You have to be a woman in order to have the "courage" to show yourself unvarnished. As a type you have the eh qua sex. Because of a man no one would demand the use of a make-up range even in a dream. On the contrary, people would freak out – so much for our blatant freedom.


"I do it for myself" was a lie

So now I stood on the toilet and looked into my face. Alicia Keys could afford to be naked. I, on the other hand, just looked like shit. Later, the faces said that on the way home and in the supermarket. Or better formulated: they just did not say anything. If I was used to cruising male looks, harvesting their smiles, generating attention, it seemed to me now that I was wearing Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak. No one noticed me as I walked down the street or balanced my purchases on the cash register. Lucky that at least the cashier confirmed my visibility by demanding money from me.

In fact, I did not feel better just because I was made-up, but because I got more appreciation for my appearance. An appearance, mind you, that was not even mine.

Make-up was always a matter of well-being. I had done it for myself to make me feel better. That day, I understood that was a lie I had made myself. In fact, I did not feel better just because I was made-up, but because I got more appreciation for my appearance. An appearance, mind you, that was not even mine. It may have belonged to Chanel and Lancôme, but certainly not to me. My face was sometimes pale and tired, sometimes red with excitement, sometimes full of small pimples. That was me. And if I did not get credit for it, what was all this crap about? That day, I decided not to make-up anymore. Not forever, after all, I'm not a militant make-up opponent, but first of all.


In the first few days I often heard it, "Are you sick?", "Can I do something for you?", "Is time for a holiday, right?" Except for maybe the men who woke up next to me in the morning knew each other my environment nobody my paleness, my dark circles, my freckles. What you knew instead was a mask that had become so normal that the real thing could only be morbid. Especially since the vast majority of women around me quite naturally make-up, the first gray hair weggefärbten and otherwise do everything with her body to look supposedly good looking.

Why are you doing the whole monkey dance at all?

And all in contrast to the men, mind you. If we want to do away with sexism, it can not be that different standards of beauty apply to men and women. In a society that is committed to equal rights, it can not address the fact that some – the allegedly beautiful sex – are expected to have any sign of transitoriness (or bad sleep) as well as possible with make-up, hair color, hyaluronic acid and the devil knows something else in time- and money-consuming procedures, while the other wins with age or just makes a career in peace.

With this thesis, the sociologist Barbara Kuchler triggered an incredible Shitstorm a year ago. Even my beloved Margarete Stokowski recently took this text apart in her column. "As if a particularly authentic feminist is only one who does not put on makeup and preferably does not wash more frequently than is urgently needed to prevent serious skin diseases – apart from the fact that it is precisely in the debate on sexual violence for heaven's sake is not a feminist move, It is mainly women who expect their behavior to change, "she writes.

She is absolutely right, but she misses her target. Kuchler has never demanded that women thunder less so they would not be raped. It's not that no one should make up anymore. Or that a woman who shimmers in all the colors of the rainbow can not make credible feminist statements. Kuchler merely asks an obviously blasphemous question: Why are you doing the whole monkey dance at all?

Viewing habits Ade

When we are surrounded by women who do not show their true, unadorned face, it shapes our viewing habits. And just what we feel is beautiful. In my case, it took about a week before I could look in the mirror without frantically frantically looking for my make-up bag. And after two weeks, after all, I felt quite okay-looking. While there was still barely any flirting with me, I was beginning to enjoy not being complacent. Not to measure my value over how many men want to flatten me or how many women adore me.

It was not easy anyway. On the day for example, when I, not yet ready for the unvarnished truth on the Internet, missed my face for a video shoot the full pack. "You look hot," my husband said as I came out of the bathroom. He had not even noticed that I was made up. But he immediately saw the glaring difference. Or when my friend (do not worry, your over-zealous, the two know each other) wished I would finally wear red lipstick again, because he finds it so erotic. Such moments gnawed at me, they made it difficult for me not to start again right away. "You do not love me the way I am!", Something in me whined, and it always took some time to calm it down.

I discussed more and louder, got into conversation faster with people and felt fundamentally safer in myself.

At the same time, a certain amount of "fuck you"In me. I discussed more and louder, got into conversation faster with people and felt fundamentally safer in myself. I was me, please, very much, eat or die. And one more thing happened: My husband, to whom the women could not be tedious enough in the past, told me how unattractive he found women who were now heavily made-up. Yes, damn, I cheered, viewing habits can actually be changed! And such changes do not need a whine about so many generations or little steps, just a "fuck it, I'll do it".

My look at the women has changed as well. He has become sharper, because in the meantime, unlike in the past, I have always seen women in real life beyond the pertinent Instagram hashtags who show how they are. Combine the short skirts to unshaven legs, let gray curls be gray curls and ignore wrinkles, redness and bags under the eyes. Most of them are not about Body Positivity – They just do not care about them, because they have better things to do in their lives than shit others about their appearance. Most days, I belong to them now. And you know what? That feels damn great.