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Makeup – From Covering Insecurity Into A Way Of Expression

Now, I really love makeup, but there was also a time before that I couldn’t enjoy it from my heart. This is my experience of how the meaning of makeup changed from fulfilling a beauty standard into an art style expressing myself. 

  • “Eye Putti”

I started wearing makeup to school when I was in 6th grade. Not a full makeup, but only gluing my eyelids together with “eye putti” to make it double lids. I loved the Korean girl band called Girls’ Generation at that time and wanted to be like them having those big eyes. The frequency I glued my eyelids together to school increased as I got older. In 8th grade, I did it every single day. It was so much hard work! I needed to check now and then if the glue hadn’t come off, and when I feel it coming off during class, my heart froze by imagining how odd I look. Gluing my eyelids was fun at first, simply because I get a new look that looks more like the Korean idols that I stan. But as time pass, it made my insecurities about how I look grew too. When I saw people with natural double lids, I felt jealous and compared that to myself and feel pathetic. I feel that my insecurities were at the highest point during 10th grade. I never let anyone other than my family see my face without the glue. What has been just a fangirl wanting to be closer to her idol became a girl with a heavy complexity about her eyes. 

  • The Beauty Standard

However, the same year ended my darkest age: a classmate that had returned to my school from a one-year study abroad. Before, I didn’t know her well other than the fact that she had monolids like mine. Coming back, she seemed so bright, shining in confidence. And she looked extremely gorgeous. The beautiful girls on T.V. or in my school were always girls with double eyelids. That girl who came back from study abroad showed me that eyelids are not that important. When people believe in themselves and have confidence, they look beautiful no matter how close or far they are from the existing beauty standard. From then I decided to stop trying to be someone else but to build confidence in myself. But as many may have experienced, complexity doesn’t disappear suddenly, and it takes some time. 

  • Liberation of the Eyelid

At first, I started by saying goodbye to eye putti. But I couldn’t suddenly go back to my monolid eye, so I changed into putting on eyelashes. For those who wonder why I chose eyelashes, eyelashes also help your eyelids get a fold. But the probability of it is lower. My left eye stayed monolid most of the time because my thick eyelids were too heavy for the eyelash. But getting used to being without the artificial double lids helped me get better. During 12th grade, I finally got the courage to have no eyelashes or glues on my eyelids to go to school. At first, it was hard because I didn’t have any confidence in those subsidy items. But I knew that my insecurity was shrinking like a balloon losing air, and it felt wonderful. Not all gone, but much less than before. I still notice people with the perfect eyelids that I wanted to have in the past, but I don’t feel sad that I didn’t get them. On good days, I can think that I am beautiful as I am. 

  • Makeup is Art

So it comes back to the point where I now really enjoy makeup. Makeup, for me, is a way of expressing myself. I choose what kind of makeup I want to put on by my feeling of the day, and not because I want to cover up my insecurity. My eyeshadow colors are the most important because it stands out the most and there is a wide range of colors that I can put on. Also, I always put on lipstick under my mask. It doesn’t matter if others can see my makeup or not; my makeup is my feeling and an art form that I put on my face for myself. It makes me feel the confidence and happiness inside of me. 

Insecurities don’t disappear suddenly, and it is hard to overcome. Even though I convince myself and sometimes really think that I am perfect being me, but some bad days, I still feel jealous of people who have what I don’t. But that is okay. As I slowly gained my confidence, I will keep on trying to accept myself as I am for someday that I could really feel glad being me. 

Yuno Yamamoto

ICU Japan '24

Currently studying at ICU. Enjoys reading, watching films/TV series on NETFLIX, listening to music, and drawing. Also enjoys going to art museums and collecting picture frames.
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