It started a year and a half ago in a salon, staring up into a petite Asian woman’s face.
She had just finished using a piece of cloth to rip scalding wax off my face when I had an epiphany.
My face stung, my eyes watered and it occurred to me that I didn’t really care what my eyebrows looked like. Everyone else has to look at them a lot more than me and they never comment on them either.
Then I began wondering about other things.
Why do I punch holes in my body and dangle jewelry from them?
Why do I paint my face every morning?
Why do I burn my hair into place?
Why do I feel the need to remove all the hair from my body?
I had no answer other than that was what society does and that was not good enough.
I realized that I had no clue why I did those things other than something along the lines of, “I’m a girl”¦?”
These questions led me to a 21-day experiment in plainness last semester. There was no make up, no hair products or irons, no plucking, tweezing, shaving, tanning, clipping or painting.
I spent 21 days in T-shirts and jeans trying to gauge the reactions of myself and others toward this lack of attention toward my outward appearance. What shocked me was that no one cared. For three weeks I did absolutely none of the things our society says are necessary for beauty and no one even noticed.
There are a lot of things I took away from my little experiment but the most important lesson was that no one cares as much about your appearance as you do. Do what makes you happy and what makes you feel good, but don’t waste your life in front of a mirror trying to reach a standard that is constantly changing.