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  • Wearing makeup is my job. Over the last decade

  • I've used hundreds of lipsticks, thousands of face

  • creams and I've amassed millions

  • of followers making original lifestyle content for my

  • YouTube channel.

  • I use cosmetics almost every single day.

  • Then came the pandemic. In quarantine,

  • I can count the number of times

  • that I've worn makeup on one hand,

  • and it's not because I've suddenly come to dislike it.

  • It's because I no longer have the need or the desire

  • to perform for the external world.

  • Life as I knew it has evaporated.

  • What's left is the question, why

  • do I apologize for looking like me.

  • Like many women, my relationship with how I look

  • has been complicated.

  • At 14, I fell in love with strawberry-flavored lip gloss

  • and bright eyeshadow. And by 19,

  • I was wearing makeup every single day.

  • It even got to the point where I was showering with makeup

  • on because I didn't want a boyfriend

  • to see my acne underneath.

  • At 22, making beauty videos on YouTube

  • officially became my full-time job, and how I looked

  • was directly connected to how much people liked me.

  • The world has expectations for women.

  • I've appeared on camera without makeup,

  • and people have told me that I'm lazy or even worse.

  • They told me to take pride in myself. If I wore makeup

  • the next day,

  • then I was fake and shallow. And if I went more than a few

  • days without wearing makeup, then

  • my credibility as a beauty expert was questioned.

  • I'm 31 now,

  • and I thought I finally had my relationship

  • to makeup figured out.

  • I wore makeup for myself, not for others. Or at least,

  • that's what I told myself.

  • Now two months into quarantine, I'm

  • realizing just how much I was still

  • performing for other people.

  • I've come a long way from showering with makeup on,

  • but I still feel uneasy attending

  • a meeting or an event, even on Zoom, when

  • I'm at home, without makeup.

  • I'm noticing myself in this familiar pattern when

  • I get on video calls. I apologize for how I look,

  • and then I regret it.

  • And almost every woman

  • I'm on a Zoom call with does this, too.

  • We spend the first few minutes in this ritual

  • of picking ourselves apart for gray hairs,

  • wearing sweatpants, having dark circles, wrinkles, pimples,

  • and apologizing for not wearing makeup

  • and covering it all up.

  • Things like acne and dark circles

  • are universal realities, but women

  • aren't allowed those things.

  • And the science shows that women

  • who aren't considered to be well groomed

  • are actually paid less.

  • It took a pandemic,

  • but finally women can focus less on how we look

  • and focus more on what we do. In this crisis,

  • what I'm seeing on Zoom or when I look out my window

  • are women. Women who are useful, not just seen

  • by the world as decorative. In quarantine, an active self-care

  • for me is using makeup as a mirror to express

  • my emotions, not mask them.

  • So I'm challenging women to do something new with me.

  • No more apologizing for how we look.

  • One part public protest, two parts self-compassion.

  • If isolation has taught us anything,

  • it's that our most important audience is actually ourself.

Wearing makeup is my job. Over the last decade

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B2 US TheNewYorkTimes makeup wearing makeup apologizing wearing acne

Ingrid Nilsen Wants Women To Stop Apologizing For How They Look | NYT Opinion

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    Mackenzie posted on 2020/05/18
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