Sunday, April 26, 2015

Making Up My Mind

When I don't wear makeup,
I feel like I'm disappointing
my family, community and society
because I look "prettier"
with makeup.
I feel like I'm not
"living up to my full potential"
or representing my family,
my community
or matriarchy "well."

But I do not exist
to achieve people's approval.
I exist because
I have a life to live --
one life, one shot,
mine.

I do not owe the world
"beauty."
I do not owe society
"pretty."
I do not exist to make
everyone else feel comfortable,
contented, or complimented.

Still, giving myself permission to
not look "my best" is
challenging for a perfectionist.

News flash to self:
I do not owe the world
"perfect."

Perhaps somehow, somewhere
in the recesses of my psyche,
I believe that I am more
valuable, more lovable, more
acceptable
if I am as "pretty"
or as "perfect"
as I can be.

Perhaps I have been
poisoned by the patriarchal preconception
(and the people who have practiced and propagated it)
that women are worthy of
acceptance, admiration, appreciation, approval, and affection
only when they are "pleasing" to the eye.

2 comments:

Lindsay Hardin said...

You expressed how I often feel if I don't wear make-up. Great Job, Sis. You put into words what many feel.

Amy E. Hall said...

Thanks, Sis. I’m glad that the poem resonates with you. I have begun to take small steps – like (mostly) avoiding wearing makeup on weekends. It’s actually very liberating!