Attention: very childish post ahead!
While some fundamentalist families allow their girls to wear light make up, earings and jewelery in general, others don’t. My family’s belief was that make up isn’t straight sinful. It was considered inapprorpiate for single girls and women, but a married woman may wear it if her husband allows it.
Until I left the movement, I never even owned any make up at all. A friend of mine who helped me and still does on my way out does own make up. Coming from the family I’m from, the only image in my mind was women wearing way too much make up, looking like prostitutes. I was so impressed watching my friend put on her pretty make up. I still watch her in awe, like a child.
I’ve been starting my own attempts. My friend helped me buy a cheap, basic range of products that I could safely use without ending up looking like a parrot.
You might wonder why this is such a big deal to me.
Growing up, I never thought I was pretty. I still can’t accept the fact that people call me pretty. Whenever I hear it, my skin starts to crawl, I feel like they are making fun of me. Either that, or they want to abuse me.
See, us fundi-girls, we are being taught that outward beauty attracts unwanted company. Every person who dares to compliment you wants to abuse you in some way – sexually, emotionally, financially, you name it, it’s on the list.
If you were truly godly, had a truly biblical glow in your eyes, nobody would look at your appearance. Make up was unnecessary.
So why do I enjoy it so much now?
To me, it’s an expression. Of freedom, of happiness, of love, of acceptance, of creativity. I am allowed to wear it. I can look different each day. I can cover up things I don’t like about myself while at the same time pointing out the things I do like.
Maybe it’s like a mask that I need at this point in my life to feel safe. One that protects me from the things I fear in the world. When somebody tells me they find me pretty, they don’t compliment my beauty, but my art that I painted with brushes and color. They don’t say that to abuse me – they appriciate my art.
Yes, make up is my armor, my creativity, my freedom. And no worries, I still go most days without it. It’s just a thing I allow myself every once in a while – because I can.