being confident with who you are just the way you are

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Let me ask you a question: if I were to get you to take a picture of yourself right now without makeup – yes you heard me right, no makeup no eyeliner no mascara no foundation no bronzer no nothing – would you find it attractive enough to post it on social media?

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     Have you only felt beautiful when dressed in certain clothes or when only when you’re with makeup?  Have you ever looked at yourself bare-faced or dressed down  and felt that you needed to wear full eye makeup before you can step out the house because you anticipate the day being filled with pictures being taken and you might end up looking drabby on Facebook, Instagram or someone’s blog? Have you ever looked at yourself all made up in pictures and in some weird way, recognize but don’t recognize yourself at the same time & think “I look drab without makeup”

A days ago I was looking back the pictures I’ve taken for my blog posts and I’ve noticed that in most of them, I’m more or less dressed more fancy that average. I’m taking fancier clothes, makeup and heels with contacts. When I dress up and get dolled up for special occasions for a fancy night out, my make-up routine consists of: sunblock, BB cream, eyeliner/eyeshadow, bronzer if I’m in the mood for it though I usually skip it because I feel like its too much, along with oil-absorbing powder for touchups because I’ve combination skin. I don’t put on full makeup because (1) there are too much things to buy like where am I going to get the money for all that, (2) I need a lot more time to put my face on and therefore, more makeup to remove at the end of the day, and (3) I don’t want to get used to wearing too much makeup such that I feel only comfortable when my face is fully made is up.

  Don’t get me wrong I’m the same person but I suppose for the lack of better words, I’m physically enhanced with the help of my heels and my trusted Bobbi Brown eyeliner. With my physical insecurities about my arms and legs,  I sometimes prefer only be photographed when I’m wearing jeans, long skirts or long sleeved tops instead of shorts because sometimes I end up wondering how fat my arms and legs would be and start worrying about baring them in public & feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes when there are phases during which I wear eyeliner everyday and take my eyeliner off in the shower when I get home, I suddenly notice how my bare eyes and think “God I hate my eyes they’re so small”. It was then that I realized: I’m addicted to my eyeliner. I feel ugly without my eyeliner, or even when I’m not dressed up. I try to preach the importance of loving your body for its current physical appearance, but here I am, moaning about how ugly I look without eyeliner.

That’s when I decided to do a post on just that. Sometimes when I go out to town I make extra efforts to look better “just in case” I end up taking pictures so I don’t go home at the end of the day looking back at the photos and cringing at myself because I’m not used to see myself dressed down with my face au natural. To celebrate the end of our part time working stint as facilitators for a school program, my bestie and I hit the town to go shopping for work-essential clothes. I knew I had wated to do a “photoshoot” for my post, so I started mentally preparing my outfits and getting ready to get my contacts out, but yesterday I decided, “darn this”. I don’t want to constantly hide myself under a layer of makeup and fancy clothing. Who says I can’t feel beautiful in just a plain top and shorts with my glasses? That’s who I really am. Sure I wore a bit of eyeliner and my sunblock just so I don’t look washed out in pictures and also because I ned my protection from the blasted sun but hey I wasn’t decked out in 10 layers of foundation and mascara and eyeliner and blush til I’m unrecognizable. I was showing me. The bare me. The real me. Not the me in contacts with lined eyes and fancier clothes that you usually see on my blog or on IG because I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I think I look better  when I’m dressed up in nicer clothes, and because I look nerdy with my glasses or washed out if I don’t wear full eye makeup. I’m not perfect. I’m human and sure I do want someone to look at me and say “wow you’re really beautiful!”.

Nope. Today. I’m showing the real me now here because that’s who I am. The person who I want to be comfortable with. I want to learn to start feeling more confident with how I look and the current size and shape I am now instead of constantly thinking I need to disguise it, because when I do I’m not really accepting myself for who I am. And I want to.

If you only feel good when dressed in a certain way or only when fully made up, then you haven’t truly accepted yourself. To accept that you look a certain way is to feel comfortable with the physical features that you were born with. Au natural. You shouldn’t have the live a life where you’re under the shadows of a certain style or with full makeup or not. There’s a difference between using makeup to enhance your features and using makeup because you need it to feel good about yourself. If you fall in the latter category, its probably time to do a make-up fast. If you shy away from camera because you happen to be dressed down on a particular day, then you probably need to start questioning yourself: why are you only comfortable when photographed wearing heels or dresses when you’re out but not when you’re in flats and jeans or when with your glasses? Is it because you feel you look better and prettier when dressed smarter? Because you anticipate posting your picture on social media and not getting enough likes on it? If taking pictures, even if its just with close friends, makes you uncomfortable because “I’m not wearing my contacts” or “I’m not wearing makeup my eyes look small” or “I’m wearing shorts everyone can see my legs”, then the question you need to ask is “who exactly are you dressing for?”

Just because you receive compliments from others when you wear makeup or fancy clothes doesn’t mean that you don’t look pretty when you’re dressed down. If you’re constantly covering up your legs and/or arms because you’re not confident of them and are afraid of showing them to other people in public, here’s something I tell myself when I start thinking that: (1) fake it til you make it, & (2) you’re never going to see those people again. Life is too short to be worrying about what other people think of you. Plus, chances are, they’re not even going to be zooming their attention on your arms and start talking smack about it. You’re a busy girl you got other important shit to do.

Beauty is skin deep and beauty isn’t fully defined by physical appearances. Don’t base your confidence on how you look on the outside, but rather, your inner qualities. You are not defined by what others think of you. Instead, you are defined by what you think of yourself. If you think you’re ugly without makeup and can’t leave the house without a fully made up face or without your heels, you are going to start to rely on others to receive affirmation of your beauty in the long run. You shouldn’t. Empowered and strong women don’t give a hoot what other people think of them. Empowered women think “I don’t care of they think I look this way”. They don’t need affirmation from others. They ain’t got no time for that shit. Their confidence comes from within.

I’m not saying you should now start looking the house with your drabby shorts and shirts with holes and slippers now. I’m not stopping you from dressing up if you want to and putting on makeup if you want to. That’s a girl’s right and privilege. Heck its fun to wear great clothes and apply makeup because seriously, the right clothes plus red lipstick can make you feel like a bad-ass bitch. Personally when I want to make an entrance and channel some Rhianna vibes, I wear my heels. You can’t feel and be a bad-ass bitch and shorts and slippers. Besides, we do need to dress a certain way and wear some makeup to look presentable in various situations. Like when we’re at work or at a social event. You can’t show up at work with a sallow complexion you got from staying up late last night binge-watching Sex and the City. What I’m saying is, if you are dressing up and wearing makeup everyday because you feel ugly and insecure with your looks its probably time to start thinking about who you’re dressing up for and why.

If you can’t accept yourself for the way you look au natural, how can you expect others to accept you? Don’t lose yourself until you become somebody that you no longer recognize; don’t love that person and lose the love for yourself because at the end of the day, the most important relationship you have in your life, is the relationship with yourself. And I mean your natural, sassy, fabulous and confident self.

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And this is my #nomakeup selfie. Check out the fab Marilyn Monroe fabric/curtain/thing to block the sun. My bestie gave it to me as a 24th birthday gift and I am completely in love with it

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