Monday, 25 August 2014

Fresh-faced woman

We rarely go to Russian restaurants, so it was a special occasion. Large quantities of the spacious interior were adorned with red, and as we sat there, slowly savouring the atmosphere, a band started to set up. The lead singer was a female, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and absolutely no make-up on. I remember admiring her natural skin tone, the dull shine of her eyelids, the faint pink of her lips.

"No cheating," I noted with approval. She dared to be proud of what was hers naturally. And she went on to sing one of my favourite songs, Hero by Mariah Carey. I felt a bond. I wanted to be like her. To glow in whatever ways I will under the lights, not be enhanced by artificial gloss. To have the lines on my face not be exaggerated but make whatever shapes they will. I felt like I was enough, somehow. That I didn't need to lather on lipstick to feel confident when I moved my mouth, that I didn't need three different products on my eyes to hold someone's gaze and arrest them with it.

Many's the time I've admired a made-up woman's beauty, but nothing can replace the beauty that comes about when we are bold enough to be seen as we really are. It's easy to hide behind a socially approved facade. It's the woman that dares to different that manages to promote your face, as it is, back to you, offering a sea of respite in the ocean of uniformity.

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