I’ll be the first to admit it.
I am a crunchy girl.
I’m the kind of girl who will whip up a weird mask at a sleepover and force everyone to “just try it!” because I know that stuff from the drugstore is only drying them out. When my boyfriend’s having poison ivy or allergies or stuck with the flu, I’m always there with a homemade vapor rub. When new roommates end up coming in my room, I always get asked if I’m a biology major just by the sheer amount of houseplants and herbs growing in my windowsill. Once, I cured a second degree burn with an herbal concoction that I made in three minutes and even the doctor was impressed. So I guess you could say, I’m pretty legit.
But, I have always had a weird obsession for all things beauty. It all started with some vanilla flavored smackers lip gloss and I was hooked from there. I ate up the beauty industry with a spoon. It was so intoxicating, the idea that you could immediately be popular, get the most likes, be so desirable to others that people couldn’t help but like you. And for a young girl growing up with terrible anxiety, it was too good to be true. The validation was too good to be true. I dabbled in the beauty industry all through my preteen years and high school years. I debated going to cosmetology school. I read every new beauty trend in seventeen and tried them all. Some were great and some were disastrous (I’m looking at you, over-plucked-brows-of-the-2000’s!). I zapped every pimple, waxed every hair, shaved religiously, had long highlighted ass length hair and every color after, had a (very) short stint with lash extensions, accidentally shaved off half my eyebrow, burned my self religiously with hot tools, everything. So I like to say that I’m pretty well versed in beauty trends. The problem is with beauty, especially in America, is that it’s constantly and rapidly changing, and there’s little room to actually just be, you know what I mean? It’s exhausting and expensive to try to follow every single beauty trend as it hits, and there’s always going to be someone out there who’s cuter than you, trendier than you, richer than you, and I was so tired of competing with other women, and for what? Then, I went to college and something amazing happened.
I. Stopped. Giving. A. Shit.
I dressed the way I wanted to. I stopped wearing so much makeup. I pretty much went barefaced every day unless I had something important, which is something I still do. I stopped spending my money on useless garbage and started being smart about what was being advertised to me and buying the stuff I knew I loved. I hadn’t gotten my nails done in four years until last week. And something even more amazing happened. My skin was clearer from not using so many different products and chemicals. My highlights grew out and hey, my natural color? Actually kind of pretty. My nails were tough, as well, nails. I was ridiculously, insanely, maniacally happy. It was like my body just let go and relaxed for the first time since I was a teenager and I felt so much lighter. Even after when I wore makeup or did something beauty related, it felt softer. As in, “I’m doing this because it makes me feel good” not “I’m doing this because I’ll be undesirable if I don’t”. Instead of focusing on the outside so much, I was able to actually love who I was and who I could be, instead of just loving the way I looked and the validation it gave me. And that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with a completely glam look even in the day time and rainbow hair, you do you, boo. All it is is not giving a single fuck what anyone says about you and to see that you are so much more than what you look like. I don’t even personally know you, and I know it’s true.
Beauty is a hard concept to grasp, that’s why poets and artists and writers have talked about it for hundreds and thousands of years. It’s human nature to be drawn to something attractive. My goal is with this blog is to reach out to you and let you know that, you are beautiful in your natural form, whether that means acne, natural hair, stretch marks, freckles, your diversity, or your mental illness. Even the things you don’t necessarily like are beautiful. Don’t listen to the beauty industry, the media, and gurus– they’re just trying to profit off of our insecurities. Be you. In all your crazy, wild, unique glory. And I promise you’ll thank yourself later.