Hey there lovelies
This post is quite a difficult one to write, but I’m going to take inspiration from my amazing friends’ stories here, here and here and try to explain why I choose to write about make-up and beauty. The reason is two-part; one being my personal relationship with cosmetics, and the second my beliefs around how we talk about beauty.
I was always a weird-looking kid. I had ginger hair and pale eyebrows, plus I was overweight (and teased for it), and I never really knew anyone who looked like me. I was such an insecure young girl that constantly worried about weight and whether boys would ever like me if I looked the way I did. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t :P)
When I got to high school I started to experiment with my looks. I dyed my eyebrows and hair and started wearing copious amounts of black eyeliner (which Emma had to put on for me coz I didn’t know how, thanks Em!).
I think it was then that I realised that if I couldn’t be conventionally beautiful, I’d be something else. I carved an identity out of black Essence liner, leather corsets and Doc Martens, which I wore like armour against all the things I wasn’t (sporty, tanned, thin, blonde,etc). And somewhere along the way, it started to work. I started to work out what I found beautiful and interesting, and started to care a hell of a lot less about what anyone else thought (a trait that helps me be a good designer today). Eventually I didn’t need all the external stuff to prove how different I was, I was just me, take it or leave it.
Make-up may seem frivolous, but it helped me work out the kind of person I was going to be. The creative, ballsy and fun person I was always meant to be but took a while to find.
When Beth, Jodi, Jess and I began talking about starting a beauty blog together, was excited but nervous. Surely everyone would think I’m completely shallow and stupid? Even though I really enjoyed writing, I was slow to show certain people the blog in case they thought I was an idiot.
And that first thought, the one that equated an interest in aesthetics to stupidity and vapidness, is why I write about make-up. Because I am a feminist who wears red lipstick (MAC Russian Red to be exact), reads fantasy and science-fiction epics, PVRs both America’s Next Top Model (love it) and arty French movies and can quote both Germaine Greer and Ru Paul. I’m a person made up of a million different likes and dislikes, and loving typically girly things like make-up sure as hell doesn’t define me any more than my other interests. It’s all arbitrary, and we need to stop judging people (talking to myself here too!) based on these stupid little factors.
The conversation around beauty has to change, and I hope Smudged can be a part of that. Beauty is about playing with your identity, expressing yourself creatively and having fun showing off different aspects of your personality visually. It doesn’t have to be about looking ‘perfect’, getting into debt over fancy products, or trying to look like someone you don’t identify with. We can change what it all means by being honest about how we feel about it all!
What do you find interesting about beauty? I’d love to know your thoughts!