Completely Out of my Elements: Two school days without makeup

Tess DeGayner, Website Editor in Chief

Concealer, foundation, powder, blush, highlight, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara. Typically, I wake up at 6 a.m. and I start every morning at my vanity. It is a routine that I have chosen to stick with, even when I am not feeling 100 percent, my best. I used to tell myself, “You feel about as good as you look.”

It was not until after I saw a new quote that made me rethink my personal saying. “Makeup is supposed to accentuate your beauty, not create it.” I questioned this thought process, could I feel equally confident in my looks without makeup?

I decided to test this, so I made a change. Ignoring my alarm, I rolled over to get an extra hour of sleep. Then I put my brother’s hoodie on, my leggings, socks and shoes. My hair was straight from the night before, so I decided to brush it and keep it down. That was the only aspect of my appearance that was alike to the weeks prior.

Arriving at school about the usual time, 7:30 a.m., I instantly get attention from the crowd of boys by the auxiliary gym/vending machines, possibly noticing the change. I enter the building this way every day and they have never once paid attention. Turning my cheek, I continue my day as normal.

Day one: Comments that were said.
“Are you feeling okay?”
“How much sleep did you get last night?”
“What’s wrong?”

That Tuesday I felt normal, I was able to rub my eyes, sweet. But I believe I have, in some way, distracted my peers. Of course my classmates had noticed, I do look different with a naked face.

But why? What causes them to say something of it? Why would it matter if you can see my few blemishes or my tinted blue under eyes?

Day two: Comments that were said.
“You’re going to school like that again?”
“You never dress like this!”
“Good thing you have a coffee, you look exhausted.”
“How long did it take for you to get ready this morning?”

The next day when I returned to my daily routine, there was the occasional compliments about my outfit, but nothing about my makeup. From this, I have concluded that people expect women to wear makeup.

When I got home that afternoon, I was disappointed. It was hard to hear people say these things uninvited. None of this hurt my feelings or lowered myself esteem. I was just disappointed. I could understand if it was one or two people maybe just concerned, but it was multiple students and a teacher making these comments in the two days that I chose not to wear makeup to school. I will never understand why people look at a girl and think she is sick just because she is not wearing makeup.

I, Tess DeGayner, do not care whether you say something or not. But the next girl might. After doing this, I recognize the constant questions and comments and was able to dismiss them without them having an emotional impact on me. This may not be the same for the next girl these people ask when she walks into class without her foundation on. Be kind with your comments, be gentle with your questions.