I’ve always been an inquisitive person. Understanding myself and others better is what makes me tick – it’s what drives me forward and continues to inspire me. I love learning (and unlearning) and I guess that is what enables my growth, both personally and professionally.
Recently, I’ve had to unlearn and relearn A LOT about myself, others and the world as a whole. Since moving out of my family home, I’ve become more aware and awake to my own reality and true self. This is, of course, part of growing up and standing on your own two feet – a process that everyone goes through at some point in their lives.
However, when you have been taught only to be an extension of your parents, without space or room for an uninfluenced identity of your own, this process becomes a whole lot harder. Now I’m not going to go into huge detail about this, because that is for another post at another time… maybe even in another place! What I will say though, is that my personality has shifted.
No – in fact, my authentic self was always there – as it is now, the truth is I’ve only just been able to uncover parts of it now, for the very first time. As you can imagine, getting to know yourself for the first time is kind of scary, not to mention confusing but also very empowering. I feel more in tune with who I am and what I want, and why things are or always have felt a certain way for me.
I feel sad that I have to distance myself from my parents and other people I have and always will love with all my heart. But I also feel at peace, knowing that I am doing all that I can to be kind to myself and others. I trust in my intuition and my process. I know there will be good moments and bad moments, and grey moments.
I’ve got an entire life of this ahead. The learning will never stop, just as the unlearning will continue on as a necessity for growth and development in all aspects of life – including technology! This weekend, I had a mini breakthrough. I realised so much about myself, the person I have become, some of the things that have shaped me and the roles I have played that explain my past, and sometimes present, actions.
One among many aspects of life my breakthrough was relevant to, was makeup. Like I said earlier, I’m a naturally inquisitive person. I’ve worn a full face of makeup since I was 12 years old. For a long time, I denied there was any psychological reason for me to change my face so drastically – I just couldn’t see why I wasn’t aloud to do what made me happy.
It wasn’t until I was 15 and receiving talking therapy that I became open to the idea of exploring why it made it so “happy”. A lot of the time adults would tell me off for wearing it, tell me I don’t need it and take the products away from me. Not once had a superior asked me, sincerely (and without judgement, angst or anger) what it was I didn’t like about my face, and how I came to such conclusions.
When you live, and have grown up, in a heavily Westernised part of the world, there are many influences that have a part to play in the widespread insecurities of young (or old) women today. Speaking for myself and myself only, factors such as child abuse (emotional and physical), peer pressure, warped expectations, narcissistic projection, social media and body-shaming in the media, are all contributing, in their own ways, to our (or at least, my) obsession to be perfect.
It’s taken me 22 years to realise that I’m fine, just the way I am. I’ve not yet accepted it, but as I slowly shred my protective persona and bud into the butterfly that I am and always have held closely within, I get closer and closer and closer to acceptance.
Now, I guess some will wonder what this means for you. And honestly that is the most important question you can ask yourself, and keep asking until you feel you have found and eventually resolved the answer. I finally have the perspective to see the causes of my underlying issues and insecurities, and by pointing out prominent aspects and elements that have affected me, maybe you’ll be better able to pin-point yours.
I also imagine some of you will be wondering what this personal revelation/process means for Make Me Up Marie, which as you all know is a long-standing fashion, beauty, makeup and lifestyle blog. Well, if I’m honest – I’m writing this just ONE day after my small “awakening”. I don’t know if I should rebrand, alter my schedule or start up a new blog altogether. What I do know is that I need to be true to my change, and not struggle or fight against important growth and amazing development.
Readers of blogs love consistency, so I must admit that there is a small part of Make Me Up Marie that is a people-pleaser – similar to my old, protective persona. I wrote things with my readers wants and needs in mind, and that’s partly what made me a “good” blogger. There has, of course, always been a strong amount of integrity in the stuff that I do post, it’s just that half of what I am posting these days doesn’t actually motivate me or reflect some of the new lifestyle options I’m hoping to pursue.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop wearing or writing about makeup altogether, or that I’ve lost interest in fashion. It is hard to explain, so I hope you can understand… it’s more like adjusting my attitude towards such material and trivial things. For example, no one should feel a DUTY to wear makeup, or see applying it as a CHORE. Makeup should be a form of art – something you do to enhance elements of your true self or express honest creativity.
The moment you feel “ugly”, “naked” or “unfeminine” without it is the moment you should explore, in great depth, your personal relationship with makeup and how parts of your psychology and experience have shaped this. That’s the learning part. Then you have to unlearn, which in other words, is doing something different. Again this doesn’t mean not wearing makeup at all… or ever (though it certainly could for some of you), but what it does mean is not letting it own or “hook” you.
Makeup is an addition, for some. And I think you can now see to the full extent, that it certainly has been, at times, for me. Much like all addition, it has the ability to affect our mental health and control our lives. How many of you feel self-conscious when you walk outside the house without makeup? How many of you have missed out or been late due to insecurities, related to makeup or fashion? How many of you see a picture of a seemingly flawless woman on social media and immediately criticise yourself? I could ask you SO many thought-provoking questions, but sad as the facts are, I already know them.
We are living in a world that rewards, and caters for egotistical attitudes and full-on narcissism. We are living in a world that overlooks, and even exploits the good and authentic. The children of today are brought up to put their appeal and appearance to others above their own individual identity, interests and desires.
Would you like to explore new subjects and topics, like the ones mentioned here (among many others) with me? Are you down for the introduction of more deep, process-driven, diary like posts? I want to share my story with you (and receive yours, when you wish to share) in a non-glossy way, free from all the chains that modern society has put on us. If that means less, or no, sponsored posts then so be it – that’s a sacrifice I am more than willing to take to ensure I stay loyal to my inner self, and give that seed the space it needs to grow.
Some of this is likely to make no sense to some. In that case, this could be goodbye. If it is, I want you to know that I love you and thank you for all the support you have given to date. I have been as honest and open as I was capable of being at the time, but like I say my self-awareness has gradually deepened and things have changed dramatically since the launch of Make Me Up Marie in 2014.
If just any of this makes sense to you, then I hope you hold-on for the ride I’m hoping to take you, and myself on. It’s going to be raw, heartfelt and insightful… and on a whole, really positive (even if that bit doesn’t come across just yet)!
Either way, thank you for reading and please do let me know your HONEST thoughts, using the comments section below.
Lots of love as always,
PS. Below are some interesting (mixed-view) articles I’d like you to read if this post resonated with you, in any way.