Pots and vials and plastic tubes,
I had a few of each, spread across the table.
“You’ll be needing some of that,”
She whispered in my ear.
I shrugged her off dismissively,
But still I reached and grabbed the pot.
I felt her sneer, it burned its way into my back,
Both cold and hot, all at once,
A special skill she’d mastered long ago.
Dutifully, I smeared it on,
I covered every blemish, every pore.
That was what she wanted.
My mother always focused on my flaws.
Long ago I’d lost the confidence
To show my face without its painted mask.
She’d told me that it needed hiding.
The world, it didn’t want to see,
What was lurking underneath,
The building blocks that she had given me.
After all, it was her who formed me in the womb.
Half of me was all of her and that was more than she could take.
If I was less than perfect, then what did that make her?
Better fill my stocking with
The very best that she could buy.
To conceal and colour, to offer a foundation
On which a perfect lie is told,
A lie that paints us in a better light
And keeps our ugly secrets firmly out of sight.
Why the hell do we wear makeup if not to cover up who we really are? I was always getting makeup from my mum. There would always be a little something in my stocking each year even though I never actually wear makeup all that often. I sometimes wonder if the reason she wanted to buy it for me was because she didn’t like what she saw. Maybe she saw the bits of herself that she didn’t like when she looked in the mirror?
Mums do tend to have a way of being super critical and I think a lot of it is because we hope that our kids are going to be a better version of ourselves. But everyone on the planet is flawed and so we are always going to be a little bit disappointed if we put all of our hopes and dreams in another human being.
I do like to play around with makeup every now and then but I refuse to let anyone make me feel like I’m less of a person if I don’t wear it. We’re all beautiful in our own way and we should be proud of the people we are even though we have flaws in both our physical appearance and our personality.
Love who you are and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.