Today I went to work with no makeup on. Now I’d love to say that I did this out of my confidence in being naturally beautiful and strongly held convictions that I am able to overcome the social standards of beauty. #nomakeupmovement The truth is I was traveling and forgot my makeup pouch. While I do not wear a lot of makeup, I do wear foundation, eyeliner and lip gloss whenever I enter new or professional environments. I am proud to report that I did not panic or go crazy over the fact that I had no makeup. I considered my options… I could A) skip breakfast and go find a store where I could purchase makeup that would more than likely aggravate my sensitive skin or B) just go without, exposing my very flawed 40 year old skin to my work colleagues. So I was my true authentic self and choose option B.
Some may wonder why this even matters or what’s the big deal. Well, for me (and others may relate) putting on my makeup has multiple meanings and effects. As a Black woman in the predominantly White industry of tech, coming from a less than accepted socioeconomic background and over a certain age, I often feel the need to protect myself from a number of misconceptions and weaknesses. Makeup for many women, myself included, provides us with an armor and a way to put our best face forward. An extra boost of confidence for when things, factors, conversations, circumstance might otherwise work against the mindset.
This random act made me think of the articles and talk going around regarding being your #authenticself at work and how valuable that is. I do not wear makeup when running errands on the weekends or when spending time with my family for the most part but not wearing it to work just seemed quite uncomfortable. Bringing one’s whole self to work is honestly a vulnerability that some of us simply don’t feel comfortable doing. I wonder what others think of this that fall waaayyy outside the demographic at work and in professional settings, especially in tech. Just wondering….