The Yoga / Make-Up Debate

I (hesitantly) admit that I wear make-up to yoga classes; as a student and a teacher. It's one of my internal struggles, for sure. A struggle, which is caused by my ego in at least two ways: 1. Caring what other people think of me without makeup and 2. Caring what other people think of me wearing it. (Trapped in that inner dialogue, it seems.)

I don’t really wear a lot of makeup… but enough to struggle about. I wear an organic tinted moisturizer, organic eyeliner, a not-so-organic blush, and from time-to-time a natural mascara. Oh, and a 90% organic lip gloss, but that doesn’t really count... does it?

I remember hearing discussion on the topic during my yoga training and have read several articles that scoff at how "superficial" and "egoic" and down right "wrong" it is for a yoga teacher (or student!) to wear any during classes. Seems like a lot of “evolved” makeup-free yogis tend to eye-roll at the idea of wearing makeup while yoga’ing. And their words have stuck in my mind. Why be all judgmental about it? That doesn’t seem very yogi either. I don’t care if someone wears or doesn’t wear makeup.

This reminds me of my university days when I discovered feminism and became quite social-media vocal and post-y about it. Posting articles and photos and rants that stirred me deeply. 
I was asked eyebrow-tweaking questions like: "do you shave? If you shave you're not a feminist.”

So, now, these days, if I wear make up am I not a yogi?!

So many rules.

I need to meditate more on this.

Coming from a background of debilitating low self-esteem and self-loathing, the fact that I am now showing up in public in yoga pants and a ponytail is a massive transformation for me. I am not ready to show up sans makeup, just yet. 

Maybe it is superficial. Maybe it is proof that I am not yet fully accepting my physical form, in its natural state. But that is where I am right now, and I am ok with that.

I am slowly, but surely, aging. My complexion isn’t flawless; with freckles, scars, subtle wrinkles, and the pale skin of a Canadian winter. I feel, without my tinted moisturizer and blush, I am almost transparent. (… and without eyeliner, my eyes disappear into fleshy little holes.) (All of which I know is caused by ‘my mind on media’. Subconsciously comparing myself to air-brushed models we are bombarded with in this society... and to other women who seem to be able to go without wearing makeup.. flawless, in ways my skin never will be.) (I know. I shouldn't compare myself to other peoples faces...)

Transparency. Perhaps that is a huge part of my fear, that people will see through my transparent skin tone and deep into the dull, tired, transparent aspects of my heart, soul and subconscious. (Because that’s the thing with the subconscious: other people can see more of it in us than we can see ourselves. That both scares the crap out of me and deeply inspires my personal evolution.) 

I think a small part of me, that self-conscious, fearful teenager part, is nervous that, without makeup, people will see me the way I struggle not to see myself anymore: ugly. That without makeup, I am that deformed girl I always thought I was when I was young. As if makeup can really mask or shield my appearance to other people! Deeply ingrained, much? (Really, can makeup be that powerful? Emotionally… it seems so.)

I don’t always feel badly about myself anymore; I have come along way on the path of self-love! Though, there are still flashes of low self-esteem, and tiny inner struggles of what others think of me.

However, blissfully, I fall a little more in love with my body and appearance everyday, every yoga class.

So if wearing a little makeup helps me to leave my house and show up, then so be it. I will do what it takes to survive my super-(insulting)-ego. Even if that is brightening my face with my chemical, yet affordable, blush.

What are your thoughts on the makeup/yoga debate? I would love to hear them <3 

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