Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freelance Writer Sugey Palomares Reflects On: The Power of Pretty

Getting Underneath Your Cover Up

Ever since I was in grammar school, my mother would powder me up and add blush to my cheeks before walking to school. She would say, "This is so you won't look so pale. Que linda. (How pretty)." I looked in the mirror and felt beautiful with my Cover Girl-covered face. There I was, a bilingual kid with an accent who wanted acceptance more than anything else in the world. If my mother told me that makeup made me look prettier-I believed her. What I was unaware of was how those early years would mark my relationship with makeup and its relation to beauty as an adult.

When I think about not wearing make-up publicly now, a voice inside of me is saying, no just some under-eye concealer, mascara and lip gloss please! I should be able to walk around barefaced from time to time, but why don't I feel comfortable? I don't lack inner beauty or self-confidence. So what is the problem here? After reading a women's magazine blog post, I sent an email out to some of my close girlfriends asking them to challenge that voice along with me and not wear makeup in public. No one wanted to join my made up makeup revolution.

As a Latina, a lot of my earliest life lessons with beauty and makeup were cultural. We take pride in looking good for ourselves and others. It is ingrained in us from the time we are able to walk, but the bigger picture is also society's view on the 'power of beauty'. We are living in a society that teaches little girls that looks are a part of who we are and sometimes, that looks are everything. Ad campaigns, magazines, and reality television shows don't help the idea either.

After taking the challenge on my own, I realized that the voice or idea that we can't be beautiful without makeup is conditioned. It runs deep and normally it takes looking in the mirror and talking to that little girl with the Cover Girl-covered face. There is nothing wrong with makeup. It sparks our creativity and makes us feel good, but when we become dependent on it, then we need to have a little makeup challenge--even if it means just going to the grocery store without anything (and I mean anything) on. I challenge you to do the same.


Sugey Palomares likes to read between the lines. As a freelance writer she has focused on a wide range of issues including politics, music, entertainment, and more. Experienced in online publishing and editing, most recently as an Associate Editor for MTV Networks, Palomares hopes to launch the demographic success of her own site, titled The Freelancer's Blog. Sugey graduated with a M.A. in Latin American Caribbean Studies with a concentration in Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. Before graduating with high honors, she also conducted research in Cuba, Mexico and Spain. She lives in Brooklyn and enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with loved ones. You can read more of Sugey's thoughts on her blog

1 comment:

  1. Well...
    I am one who falls on the opposite end of the spectrum of which we are all examining in this blog. I do not wear make-up... AT ALL!
    There have been phases when I have worn lipstick regularly... and I have been made up at occasional gatherings based on the sale of beauty products... but that is the extent of my make-up experience (and I must admit that I have been offended by the excited and enthusiastic rantings of how GREAT I looked with so much make-up on... as if to say my face is inferior in beauty to a skilfully applied mask closely resembling my face)
    For me... to wear make-up is to betray my beauty... not to enhance it.
    Now... I am not one of the world's most beautiful women... and I say that not because I am not aware that I am beautiful (I know that I am)... but I say that because I celebrate beauty all around me and I am well aware that some women are simply breathtakingly and stunningly beautiful in appearance. I am not one of those women.
    For me it is heartbreaking to see women... both those who are exceptionally beautiful, and those who are simply beautiful like myself... wearing much make-up. The extent of heartbreak that I experience in regards to these woman is directly connected to the amount of make-up they wear.
    A little doesn't bother me much... but when I see a woman who wears makeup in the way that she is unable to appear in public without it... I experience a sadness for them and when I see a woman whose appearance is so greatly altered by make-up that she doesn't even "look like herself" anymore... I mourn for her.
    The concept that a woman's beauty is primarily based on her appearance is painful enough to bear... but to then add to that injury the insult that her actual appearance is less beautiful than an applied "mask" of a sort ... to me that it is an atrocity.
    I believe that when we more embrace the truth that beauty is not skin deep... we will more embrace the truth that we are created quite beautifully by a Master Craftsman. While we may apply by brush, or remove by laser.. we may alter through surgery, or any other means... but we can not IMPROVE upon the Perfect Work of The Creator.

    Be blessed ladies!

    And do stop by my blog and please share your thoughts!