I’ve spent hundreds of hours putting on makeup… and I wouldn’t change it

image of lipstick and heart drawn in lipstick

I’m 17 right now, but almost 18. I think I’ve been wearing makeup since I was 14. It’s been 3 years of getting up early in the morning, scrubbing my face, erasing and re-drawing the eyeliner and combing my eyelashes with mascara. That’s 30 minutes per day, 7 days per week, 4 weeks per month, 12 months per year. That’s about 200 hours I spend every year painting my face.

My parents have said, “Seriously, you don’t need to wear makeup. It’s a waste of time! That would be hundreds of hours doing something more productive, like reading a book or cleaning the house!” And whenever my parents said that, I would just laugh it off and dismiss their remarks. But of course, I never gave up on makeup.

However, as I got older, I became more frustrated

Frustrated that I have to wake up earlier than others and frustrated that I have to use an extra 30 minutes every day to make myself look prettier, time that I could use for sleeping instead. Sometimes I wondered if all this effort has been worth it. Many of you reading this probably agree with me.

One day, my friend in Vancouver called me. We were just chatting and she told me that some girls in her school sent her hate messages through Facebook. The content of those messages was about my friend’s use of makeup. Just like me, she puts on makeup every day to school and I gotta admit, she looks gorgeous. Maybe those girls were jealous, maybe they were upset with something, I don’t know.

They called my friend insecure and fake. But my friend just shrugged it off. However, I was extremely mad.

Who do they think they are to judge my friend?

I was mad because those girls did not understand the amount of effort we go through every day to commit to what is important to us. And then I realized the value of makeup.

It doesn’t matter what you look like without makeup.

Some may use it to impress others, and others may use it just because their friends are using it. However, for me, makeup is a source of confidence. I feel confident because I know I put in my utmost effort to look and feel my best. And most of all, to me this morning ritual shows dedication, diligence and devotion to myself and others. How is this a bad thing? It’s not. And it’s definitely not a waste of time.

Makeup gives me a confidence boost.

However, it doesn’t have to be makeup for you. Whatever it is, I think it’s important to keep and value what’s important to you, no matter what other people say and judge. Keep it and use it. There is nothing better than knowing that you have something to rely on to gain confidence and find your own strengths. At ConnecTeen, we value what you value. Contact us when you’re feeling insecure. We can help you validate what’s important to you and perhaps re-discover your own strengths.