midlife, midlife health & wellness, personal growth

The Case for Makeup and Bras

Image of makeup and bra

Do you think wearing makeup and a bra makes a woman less authentic?

I have loved makeup since the first time my mother brought me to Woolworths at thirteen and let me buy a Bonne Bell gel blush and a powder blue Cover Girl eyeshadow.

It felt like magic then and it still does. It makes me feel grown up and pulled together (much like wearing a bra, but without the discomfort).

It’s a personal thing.

And it’s absolutely not a judgement against women who prefer not to wear makeup (or a bra). In fact, that’s the whole point.

Choices and the midlife judgement free zone.

And since I trust you to be judgement free, I will move on to share my case for makeup and bras!

Let’s begin by stomping the myth that wearing makeup (or a bra for that matter) is somehow an attempt at hiding something – like who we are (or where our breasts now reside). No makeup or bra is quite that magical.

They are merely enhancement tools we can choose to use if we feel they suit us and make us feel more pulled together.

We can still be authentic and real – and wear makeup and underwire bras.

Not to cover up who we naturally are, but to accentuate. To empower.

And whatever we can do to help ourselves face the day and perhaps the world with our back (and yes, maybe the girls) held a smidge higher, I say go for it!

We don’t wear makeup and bras because we are in denial of our age, we wear them to amplify our confidence, our courage.

To feel bolder – like we’ve got a quiver of arrows strapped to our chests, ready for anything, poised to build an empire… without the girls getting in our way.

Or maybe you feel best because your minimizer, or padded, or push-up bra makes your blouse fit better. Which makes you not have to think about tugging at your shirt. And ok, yes, a bra can also serve to stave off a nasty under-boob rash that could slow down even the fiercest heroine!

Maybe for you it’s not wearing makeup and a bra that do the trick.

Maybe you feel empowered with the enhancement of a spritz of perfume, or gorgeous shoes, or a manicure, or jewelry, or a sharp suit, or Spanx. Some women go for Botox and Sculptra. Some feel most naturally comfortable coloring their hair. Some feel most confident remaining naturally gray.

The key is to do what makes you feel most confident for you, not to impress or please anyone else. Not in an attempt to visually erase the last thirty years. After all, we’ve earned those years.

Enhancements allow us to exercise our choices to empower ourselves.

Heck, if a $12 tube of lipstick can make me feel even the tiniest bit more like I’ve got my act together, it’s a no-brainer!

And a reminder not to judge…

I went to exercise class a few weeks ago and there was a much younger woman whom I’d never met before working out next to me. She happened to be makeup-free (which I would have never noted, but after this incident, I did).

We were both struggling to catch our breath as we hoisted weights when she turned and looked at me and said, ‘Wow, you got all dolled up for this?”

I was caught off guard (maybe partly because I was out of breath!) and my first reaction was to feel defensive because I perceived her tone and her choice of the words dolled up as snarky and judgey.

I automatically responded with an apologetic tone, “um, yeah… I never leave the house without makeup. In fact, I put it on most days even when I know I’m not leaving the house.”

We continued to lift and it was a welcome distraction.

Later I thought, maybe her comment wasn’t about me at all.

Maybe looking at my made-up face, she felt somehow less pulled together herself or she felt silently judged by me because she was bare-faced. Which was totally not the case.

The point is – stifle the judgement.

And let go of feeling like you should defend your choices.

Let’s respect the differences in each other’s choices.

Do what works for you.

Whatever makes you feel more pulled together, more powerful, more confident, more comfortable, more able to kick butt, do it!

And just because it comes out of a jar and isn’t natural doesn’t mean you’re not authentic. It means you’ve authentically chosen to do what makes you feel best.

Don’t let anyone make you second guess your choices.

As for me, I’m going to continue to spackle on the concealer, brush on the blush and hoist up my gals… because those are my choices for today and they continue to make me feel more pulled together.

And if enhancements like makeup and bras don’t make you feel empowered and better able to rock the day, so be it my friend!

I’ll do me, you do you, and let her do her.

Cheers to not judging each other and to the choices that can help us feel more pulled together, more powerful, and more authentically us. – Marlene

How do you feel about this subject? Do you think wearing makeup and bras makes women less authentic? I’d love to hear what you think!

 


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