It’s time for the clothes challenge part of The Summer of 7. For a while, I’ve known that I’d be completing this challenge during our beach vacation week when we rotate t-shirts and bathing suits. Also, we do laundry constantly. Therefore, I make no secret of the fact that I am cheating. I am also kind of getting my family on board for this one since it will minimize our packing.
Here’s my selections. I am not including swimsuits or underwear in the seven and I’m including an extra “outfit” to wear to bed because I’m doing this challenge for 8 days and felt entitled.
However, I will not be able to cheat once we get to the beach because these are all the clothes I’m taking.
I was kind of psyched about clothes week because I was excited for a chance to feel really smug and “all good.”
See, I already buy most of my clothes from Goodwill–when I actually shop, which I hate to do because I’m cripplingly indecisive. As a result, my closet is kind of paltry. A few months ago, a dear girlfriend came over, looked through my clothes, weeded out the ugly, and commanded me to get rid of any shirt I had nursed a child in. (Apparently this was proof of the shirt being stretched out, old, and representative of a weary state.) I told her that nary such a shirt existed in my closet. She relented, took my most fashionable but dated items to a consignment shop, so that she and I could afford a road trip that we couldn’t otherwise.
Limiting an already limited wardrobe doesn’t feel like much of a challenge.
And then some dumb girl on the Summer of 7 Facebook Participants page suggested that we give up makeup. Dumb girl, if you are reading this, I blame you for everything that follows. (I suppose you can take credit for spiritual epiphanies though.)
I’m not wearing make-up for a week. I’m not even taking it to the beach. I have none on my face right now and none is packed in the car that I will shortly get in and drive to the beach. This is going to be really hard for me. Here are some random things that I am feeling that may or may not be true, but may indicate some of the reasons that I need to do this.
I think I look pretty with makeup. I know that I am not pretty without makeup.
I feel confident and prepared with makeup.
My skin has always been an unfortunate combination of wrinkles and pimples. I’ve had a wrinkly forehead since I was 12 and have had acne since the same time. In the absence of natural beauty, I am a wizard with makeup. Problems on my face can be resolved with a dab of concealer and a bit of mascara.
I like the control and artistry of being able to take a mediocre looking girl and coming away with a reasonably decent looking woman.
I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but I ALWAYS wear it when I’m going out in public. Even at the beach when all the other fresh-faced gals opt for sun-kissed skin, I wear enough makeup to look fresh-faced.
When we lived in PNG, where makeup was a little less common, I achieved the moniker “the-teacher-who-wears-makeup.” And, I was proud of it. (A deal better than, Teacher-who-does-not-shave-her-legs, no?)
Without makeup, I feel old/ pubescent, weak, unprepared, and a little afraid.
Without makeup, I feel ugly, insecure, and withdrawn.
Without makeup, I worry people won’t like me. What if they think, “Why isn’t she trying to look better?!”
“What is wrong with her?”
Even though I know that God made my face, I like to prepare a face that is an improvement on what he did. You know, because I am so great at improving the work of God’s hands.
How can pride and insecurity be so tied up together? Is this my lesson for 7?
Last year at the beach, I wrote a post called “Dare to Eat a Peach” about insecurity and one of my favorite poems. Little did I know that this year, I’d be swearing off my long-cherished habit of “preparing a face to meet the faces that [I] meet.”
I want to be one of those people who is confident without her mask. I doubt that I’ll be swearing off make-up forever, but I’m hoping that this week I can meet that girl under the mask and convince her she’s not so bad.