One of the most stressful situations a person with a visible birthmark must undertake is preparing for a first time face to face meeting. Whether it’s a job interview, a business meeting, or even a Tinder date, you want to make a decent first impression; and for many of us, we deal with the choice of whether or not we should wear make-up. It’s tough for all of us, but for those that have facial differences such as birthmarks, highly visible moles, large amounts of freckles, or vitiligo, first impressions can be that much more stressful. There’s that moment when you’re applying foundation and that question of “How much should I cover up?” pops in your head; which of course leads to a whole bunch of other unnecessary questions.
We all worry about our appearance so much that we question wether or not to hide the thing that makes us….us. When I was younger I used to wear a make-up called DermaBlend. Some of you may have heard of the brand. For that haven’t, I can tell you this… It covers very well. I remember stressing each day I chose not to wear make-up, because I could feel people staring. I knew people were questioning themselves about why I looked so different. My stress became so large that I couldn’t go a day without make-up; but as I grew older I became weary of all that stress.
You know when people say that “Positive attitudes can attract positive people, and negative attitudes…etc.?” Well I believe my anxiety and fear of what people thought continued to put me in negative situations. I believe people felt my fear and anxiety, saw that I was different, and reacted accordingly by asking me questions about the one thing I was afraid of discussing. Older now, I'm not afraid. I love who I am and want the world to see me. I do of course still deal with the stares and questions asked, but first dates and job interviews don’t scare me the way they used to. If I am accepted, then great! But if not, because I simply look a little different, then that’s fine too. It says more about their character than it does mine.
Currently, I’m at the point where I’ve become tired of trying to conform to societal standards and tired of bending over backwards so others can accept me as beautiful. For me, fighting social standards have been especially difficult. I’m a black woman that has grown up in a world that says my lips and butt should be smaller, my nose should be less flat, and my hair should be straighter. Then to top it all off, I have a birthmark on the right side of my face that society also says shouldn’t be there. Well… I’m not sorry to say that my nose is flat, my butt and lips are a bit larger for my body type, my hair is as curly as can be, and I have a birthmark that will never go away. I have come to love and accept my differences. No one can tell me what I am supposed to look like.
“I’m a black woman that has grown up in a world that says my lips and butt should be smaller, my nose should be less flat, and my hair should be straighter. Then to top it all off, I have a birthmark on the right side of my face that society also says shouldn’t be there. ”
Some days I may wear a lot of make-up, but always in hope that my birthmark is still visible.
Life is tough, and I get that. I understand putting on heavy makeup and then exposing your differences after becoming more comfortable with others. But imagine this, you are not ashamed of your freckles, birthmark, vitiligo, or whatever it is that you have, you prepare for your interview/meeting, and when you arrive you are glowing with confidence because you have nothing to hide. And don’t get me wrong about make-up, wear if you want, live that beautiful life of yours; freely and without care. I just can no longer promote people using make-up in fear of society’s thoughts towards natural beauty. For those that do, I encourage you to try a day, maybe a week, without make-up. People may stare or ask questions, but here’s something that I’ve learned… When you walk into a building radiating with confidence and standing your ground about who you are, other people will adapt. I promise.