A few months ago, there was a challenge going around on social media, in which women who were frequently told they’re naturally beautiful and shouldn’t wear so much makeup quit wearing makeup completely. Predictably, the reaction they got wasn’t praise for natural beauty, it was questions about being tired or ill. It’s almost like we’re all conditioned to expect flaw-hiding natural-looking makeup on all women!
Anyway, I thought of this because when I first arrived in Yangzhou, it was too hot to wear makeup. Actually, it was too hot to wear clothes, or to leave the house during sunlit hours, but apparently those things are nonnegotiable parts of adult life. The thought of something unnecessary like concealer touching my skin was unappealing (also, sweating off pools of concealer was unappealing), so I’d slap on some lipgloss and put my hair in a knot on top of my head. I mean, I’d put on pants, too. But definitely no eye makeup.
The weather has recently turned from constant misery to North Carolina summer, and I’ve started putting on a little concealer under my eyes. No one has commented on it or told me I no longer look exhausted, but I’m pretty sure it’s working because ever since I started wearing concealer, the girls in my office started mentioning how cute my lipgloss is or how nice my hair looks.