I’m a feminist, and I am not ashamed of my body. My self-image is perfectly fine. But for a really long time I didn’t want to be pretty in any way, as a sort of rebellion against unrealistic beauty standards. I didn’t use makeup, I didn’t wear “flattering” clothes, and I overall didn’t care what people thought about it. People asked me what my costume was supposed to be on Halloween when I wasn’t wearing one. When I dyed my hair purple, people asked me all day whether I was wearing a wig. Classmates would snicker when I mentioned that I wanted to do something in fashion when I grow up. And you know what? It didn’t bother me.

But one day I just sort of wanted to wear makeup. But! I didn’t want to “give in” to the media’s unrealistic portrayal of prettiness and flawless skin!

Then I had a little epiphany: I could wear makeup without wearing it for anyone else. I’m not giving in, because I’m not wearing it for them, I’m wearing it for me. Wearing whatever I want is the most effective rebellion, I think, because it means I’m making independent decisions. Nothing’s going to prevent me from dressing how I want or wearing whatever makeup I think looks good. So on go the cat-eyes, and down goes the guilt. ♦