This may be a little too complicated for the sad state of my brain right now — I’m high on lorazepam, holy crap, that went down with glee — but here’s a try for the #donttrysohardlinkup:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve disliked my face. I’ve talked about the eyebrows and my trichotollimania, and I’ve talked about the fact that I’m really thin and my eating issues have nothing to do with body image and everything to do with side effects of anxiety medication, my very recently on-the-mend sleep schedule and my low appetite.
But I still don’t usually like my face. I do, and I don’t. I love watching myself — I love looking at pictures of myself, and I love seeing my mouth move when I talk on videos. I’m fond of me, in the way you’d be fond of a good friend. But sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel ugly, or rundown, or just not that special.
I mean, I am not that special, and usually that’s not a bad thing. But sometimes it makes you question things, like whether you’re being dumb making modeling portfolios on places despite not fitting agency standards with your quaint 5’4″ of height and your sunken eyes and your blah Leighton Meester jawline (don’t knock it, it’s helped me get used to mine) and the acne scarring and so on and so forth.
Anyway, it’s not like the modeling industry’s ever been present before. That part is new. Disliking my face isn’t.
But the thing is, when I started taking selfies, I started to like my face. I learned it, I saw it from many angles, I looked at it from a different perspective. It’s still my face, which means I’m never going to be impartial on it, or partial to it. I’ll feel pretty, but I won’t say I am. I’ll say I’m cute, or adorable, or looking really funny.
Makeup — and Photoshop — often cover some of these things — when my jaw sticks out weird in an otherwise good shot, when my tooth sticks out over my bottom lip like a hick, when my acne scarring is particularly obvious. But I try not to overdo it. I try to go by my own principles, the ones I use for other models where I embrace everything that’s a facial feature and only retouch on request.
I wear makeup about twice a month, just when I model, because when I get home and I have makeup on, I feel dirty and I want it off. I used to never go out of the house without for a while there, for a few years — though to be fair I went out once every other week. I think, even though I’ve never said it, that starting antidepressants in the middle of summer helped me be less tied up to my makeup. I’ve never been a makeup person; I was a person who needed makeup to hide the things she didn’t want other people to see, because she was ashamed.
But I’m not anymore. Now, makeup and retouching are choices for me. I’m still not fully sure when I should wear makeup — I default to not for the OCD type reasons mentioned above and I’m sure I’ve made a faux pas or two. But I don’t care because I felt comfortable, even in front of the camera, and at the end of the day that’s all I want to be: comfortable with my face. Comfortable with my choices. Trying hard for me — for my mental health, for my business, for my self-esteem — and not for anyone else.