I remember very few times since the ripe old age of 13, that I have not worn make-up. I wore it to cover the blemishes. I wore it to enhance the good features. I have worn it because I just felt a lot hotter when I did. So recently, as I’ve discovered a bright, shiny, new world of the less than clothed, I found myself wondering “Do nudist women wear make-up?”
It might seem a silly question on the surface, really. Particularly when make-up is such a superficial thing, but there are a few foundational things that a clothes wearing, post-menopausal, gravity challenged woman tends to cling to like a brick wall in a hurricane: a really good bra and her make-up.
Giving it thought, I am finding that I am more inclined to giving up the bra faster than my mascara or concealer. My breasts will not look smaller if I don’t wear an undergarment. My eyes on the other hand, might look a bit on the less than up and up. And heavens help us if a (here it comes) ZIT should show itself on a face over the age of 21. And they do and it will. It’s the immutable law.
The whole, going au naturel is daunting for me. I’m not sure why it has visited itself upon my doorstep at this particular time, other than perhaps that I am more open to being me now, more than any other time in my life. I’ve spent years being what I thought everyone else needed me to be. I’ve been a relatively good daughter, a dutiful mother, a loving wife, a diligent friend. I’ve lived through more than my share of trials and tribulations and somehow managed to stand and keep walking. I’ve gained weight, lost it, gained it again and lost it again. My skin shows the journey in its marks and its lines. At 45, I am less afraid than I was, yet society says that I should probably be more afraid than ever! The one thing I never quite learned how to be was the “me” within all of the other contexts. I never got comfortable being the living, breathing, sexually charged me when I was cooking dinner, warming bottles and pondering the dynamics of a world at war. Now, I want to feel the Goddess “me”. I want to open my eyes to the day, stumble out of bed with naught but a smile and my commitment to meeting my goals. I want to feel the electric charge rip through me when I meet them and to be happy in my own skin. I want to make love with the lights on, and as my lovers can attest, that is a both a huge desire and a huge fear for me. But can I do that with my make-up on? I mean, really. That is the last bastion–as if a sign hangs over it that says “Abandon all hope…”
This week I got naked.
I took pictures of that nakedness.
I deleted them and took them again.
I then cursed not having learned Photoshop.
Then a miracle happened.
I ceased caring about the stretch marks and the belly and the less than peak like tips of my breasts. I was real! I was alive!
I felt a little bit devilish under that shy blush that the camera couldn’t hide.
I would imagine that with a lush expanse of skin to look at, the least of my concerns should be the shade of my lips. It occurred to me that in a world of people that were born naked, skin is really just skin. It’s a meat-suit that merely provides a thermal covering for the shining souls that we were born into this world to share with one another. I am a soul, not a skin. My skin no more defines me than extra-crispy or original recipe defines a piece of chicken. It’s that succulent taste that makes the meal. That wonderful, first bite that explodes into a waiting mouth and sates the hunger is what drives us isn’t it?
It’s going to be fine. Just fine.
I’m going to live before I die.
I may just do more of it naked, too!
Funny thing about being naked… there’s no place to stash your lip gloss, either.