For every 'Declaration of Imperfection Tee' sold, £5 will be donated to charity! Let me tell you why...
I was at home today, meaning to do loads of chores, photography and cooking, but I got distracted by Facebook. I got distracted by so many barefaced beauties raising awareness for cancer by taking selfies with no makeup. It got me thinking, I don't wear make up that much, maybe once a fortnight, and when I do, it is very minimal, brown mascara, lightening cover up, and tinted lip balm. For me, the challenge is to put on lots of makeup. I was then thinking about why I don't wear it much and how it makes me feel with or without it. It is all very personal.
I think I haven't been into it much, partly because my mum rarely wears it. So as a little girl I never saw my mum put on makeup, so I didn't see it as something to try and copy. A bit older and in my first teen years, I began seeing the other girls wearing it and I learnt about celebs and saw how they wore it, so I experimented with it. I wore it to fit in and avoid being bullied so much, to express myself and to be attractive. I met my husband when I was 15 and soon learnt that he preferred my with minimal or no makeup. I think this is a big factor. At about this time I also learnt to stand up to bullies and be myself and embrace my differences. Just showing that I was confident in how I was, even if I faked my confidence, showed bullies that they weren't getting to me, so they soon gave up, or weren't as brave to do it to my face.
Now, ten years later, I still am learning to be confident and how to be free. I feel free with no makeup on. I feel with a bare face, I am not hiding anything, you see all the flaws, the insecurities. It is my way of being honest and open. I may feel less feminine and I know I am no beauty queen, but that's ok, I have no pressure to keep up an appearance. I want my face to show compassion, kindness, gentleness, fun, adventure and love. I want somehow for my lack of make up to put people at ease, so they can be free to be who they are, not who they think they are expected to be.
With makeup on, I feel totally different. I am suddenly self-conscious. I almost didn't want to look at people today when I put the makeup on, at first I hid my face from my husband and from other people in my life. I am more aware of what my mouth and eyes look like, and wonder if they are looking good enough, but then realise they are getting much more attention than normal. It becomes more about my face and perceived beauty than my personality and actions. I feel like a cake that hasn't got good ingredients, so has made up for it by putting on some fancy icing. I do feel more powerful with makeup on. I feel I can convey confidence and authority, and I get much more male attention. That may sound like a good thing, but I have my husband, so I don't want to give an impression of offering anyone else anything, and when I look like I have more power, it may make others feel less than me, when really I want them to feel equal.
On another note, I find I can't keep makeup on for long because it makes my eyes sting, go red and start streaming, which has started to happen in the photo. I rub them, forgetting it is there and smudge it around. I also find it too much hassle to put it on and take it off everyday.
Saying all this, I don't want to make you feel bad if you wear makeup. It is fun to experiment and enhance your best features. I want you to feel free. I want you to have no pressure to be something you aren't. I want you to be who you were made to be, to let your self shine out.
As a photographer, part of my job is to make people and things look good. This doesn't mean I change them, rather it means I capture the beauty, maybe enhance what is already there, choose to see the good stuff and show the world the beauty I can see. When you are in front of me I want you to feel at ease with the way you look. I have the lens pointed at you because you have already captivated me without trying.
At WAHP, one of our values is to encourage you and the way you look. You are unique and beautiful, so be fearlessly authentic because you are enough.
Lizzie, Sarah, Chloe