There was a time when I would NEVER leave the house without 3 hour routine of obsessively making sure my hair perfectly sleek and my makeup was perfectly blended.
That was extremely exhausting as I have myalgic encephalomyelitis, complex migraines, Hypermobile joints and fibromyalgia , but I did it daily for years as I was so insecure with my natural beauty. I am a mix of northern/Eastern European and Mediterranean heritage, so my naturally curly hair is something I have always been self conscious over; the moment I laid my hands on a flat iron in high school, I was hooked and my hair became so damaged. When I started my advocacy journey, I NEVER would have shared a picture of myself in my “natural state”.
I even used to justify my insane routine (daily showers and daily shaving, hours spent on my hair and makeup) was a way for me to love myself despite feeling like shit. But honestly, that was an excuse to justify my self destructive behavior. Doing your hair and makeup everyday and shaving constantly is a social norm most women are expected to just keep up with, but it’s self destructive to anyone with a chronic illness or disability. Before, I wasn’t doing it for myself, I was doing it to try to fit in. Putting yourself on the back burner for the sake of fitting in will always be detrimental to your well being.
Now, the only times I wear makeup is for a special reason, either a shoot or just because I want to mess around with my new ipsy products. 13 dollars a month and it adds new products to my makeup collection easily without me spending time roaming the aisles of Sephora. I am learning to love my natural beauty by embracing the fact that not spending hours and hours every day trying to be someone I’m not is self care at its finest.