July 31, 2014

Look Ma, No Makeup! ~ Kate O’Hara

lipstick makeup

Sometimes progress on my yoga path is painfully slow.

I am still as overweight as when I began two years ago, which is disappointing. I am lazy and don’t always do my sadhana, or spiritual practice, and I can be impatient and judgmental.

But one area where I see great improvement is my sense of self-worth.

I know who I am and I like myself. I don’t do things to impress other people or to make them like me or think well of me. My attitude is pretty much, “Take me or leave me as I am.” Not in an arrogant way, just in the sense of, “If you like me, great; if you don’t, that’s okay.”

For instance, I feel no need to conform to other people’s ideas of how I should look or dress.

It has been suggested to me, many times by various people, that I should wear makeup.

Why, I wonder, do women wear makeup in the first place? To “improve” their appearance? To feel better about themselves? To be more attractive to others, particularly men (or women, depending on one’s preference)? To compete with other women? I don’t really know; I just know I don’t have any of these reasons to wear makeup and have no desire to.

It seems to me that people wear makeup because they are insecure about their appearance. They want others to think they are attractive, or be attracted to them, or just to feel “better” about what they see in the mirror. Okay, that’s fine; I have no argument against anyone’s wearing makeup. It’s a bit odd to me that some people feel the need to “educate” me about it, though.

My not wearing makeup is not a result of my lack of knowledge about it or where to get it or how to apply it. I have a box full of the stuff, bought for me (mostly) by people who think I “need” it. People who wish to “help” me and think they are doing me a favour. People who think I would…what? Look better? Feel better? Be more attractive? Don’t know, don’t care.

Someone, when urging me to wear makeup, told me: “I think of my body as my temple. I like to respect it and decorate it.” This said, apparently, with the odd notion that because she feels that way I should too. Well, you go right ahead and decorate your temple till the cows come home, sweetheart, but leave my temple alone!

Another woman declared, “I don’t know how you have the nerve to not wear makeup.” Critical or envious? I’m not sure.

Another: “You’re missing a great opportunity.” Opportunity for what I never discovered and didn’t care to find out.

Occasionally, if the whim strikes, I put on a dash of lippy or pencil in a faint eyebrow or two (I am practically hairless and missing these minor prerequisites of the glamour puss). I have even been known, just for the hell of it, or perhaps on an especially and very rare “fancy” occasion, to go the full-meal deal with eye shadow, liner and mascara.

The fact that I practically have to splash on turps to remove the junk is one factor discouraging my ever wearing it again.

I just don’t care. I am not this body; I am a spiritual being. I don’t care if you think I would look better with makeup. I don’t care if you think I should wear it. I don’t care if you look at me and, based on that glance, think I’m plain and uninteresting.

That face you see is not me.

Yes, it’s part of the vehicle I travel around in. I keep my vehicle clean—other than that, what’s it got to do with you anyway?

You can argue that first impressions are made with that initial glance, and perhaps I make a poor first impression. Tough. I don’t care. If something as superficial as whether or not I wear makeup is a deal breaker for our possible friendship, that’s okay.

As I learned from my beloved yoga guru, Prasad Rangnekar, my self-worth is non-negotiable. It does not depend on anyone else’s opinion, approval or acceptance.

Here I am; this is me. Barefaced as the day I was born, and that’s the way I like it. And, all things considered, my opinion about that is the only one that counts.


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Apprentice Editor: Guenevere Neufeld / Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr / A♥

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