"People are so used to seeing you made up that it feels like taking off a mask when you go without makeup."
My insecurity blanket comes in 220M, with enough concealer to hide the scars of teenage angst on my cheeks, and mink eyelashes to seal the beat. Makeup itself isn't an insecurity blanket, but the dependency I developed to create an image for myself; the mask I wore in public was to hide the very parts of who I was - my scars, my imperfections, my minute details - that could help me connect, vulnerably, with others. What don't we let people see? In the question reveals the answer that can bring us a surge of evolution.
In a recent episode of The Talk, rapper and actress Eve blessed the show with her beautiful and bare presence.
During the segment five women on the show revealed what they looked like without makeup, and Eve's testament was not only relatable, but a truth on how we can choose external dependencies to perpetuate the need of upholding an image for ourselves. This image can be so connected to us that when we remove the attachment, we are left to look at ourselves, bare, naked, and vulnerable, in the mirror.
Do we self-identify with this woman? Do we love her just the same? Are we able to treat her gently and kindly without the wardrobe we dressed her in?
"It became a security blanket. I've been in the business most of my life, from a young age. I wore makeup for everything. Every time I was in public I had on makeup and it became like putting on a bra in the morning. I wake up I get dressed I put on a bra I put on makeup. But then also it became something that I guess, I started seeing flaws that I didn't want other people to see. So I was like okay let me cover this up because if someone sees me outside I didn't want to be like 'that's not what she looks like'. I was scared of that, I don't want to be scared of that no more."
Eve's words made me think: more often than not we become habitual in the process of creating a mask because of the perception others will hold of us.
For the professional environments that we inhabit, we are consistently catering to the "mask" we've created. Sometimes, I've felt that showing up to work without makeup is unprofessional.
It made me question if others would notice the lack of upkeep and therefore pull me to the side and ask, "Is everything okay, Olivia Jade?"
As simple as it is to not wear makeup for a day, for those of us who have embedded it into our everyday self-care routine, it's the revealing of what lies beneath that can feel vulnerable. But finding the evolution in the fear, in the baring of our true selves, is what really helps us to grow into our identity and connect with others in their own.
On The Talk, Sheryl Underwood made it a point to only make half of her face up and leave the remaining half bare.
During her confessional, she revealed that the natural side of her face was the woman that built herself up and rooted herself in the authenticity of who she is, and the made-up side was the woman who accepted the bare Sheryl and also enjoyed getting cute for her role.
It was a lesson in duality - that you can exist as the beautiful being you are with or without the wardrobe that you create for yourself.
When I was able to differentiate my need for an insecurity blanket and the innocent desire of enjoying getting dolled up as an act of self-care, I was able to embrace the same lesson that Sheryl touched base on. Knowing the beauty that lies with in, and also knowing the difference between attachment and dependency on one side of the spectrum is maintaining a healthy balance and a healthy relationship with self.
True evolution is deconstructing the idea we have of ourselves to reveal who we truly are to others.
For those of us who have created a mask for ourselves - an image that we need to uphold, whether it be makeup, a persona we've created, or the clothes that we wear - learning how to let go of that blanket in order for us to show others what they don't see connects us on a deeper level than we could imagine.
Catch the candid conversation on The Talk in full below.