OH, the things we do for love. I recently read a story about an influencer from Vietnam by the name of Wangmei who went viral thanks to some photos she posted online from the hospital where she was admitted. The photos featured close-up shots, and another was of her lying down on a hospital bed.
But what left some online users scratching their heads was that she didn’t appear sick at all. Even with a nasal cannula attached, she was perfectly dolled up — I’m talking about full face make-up complete with structured eyebrows, possibly fake eyelashes (from what I could see in the close-up photo), some light blusher, eyeliner, lipstick, highlighter and nail polish, as well as earrings.
“My boyfriend is coming to see me!” she captioned, according to China Press. Ahh, so that’s what the make-up was for.
It was believed that the influencer didn’t want to take any chances on letting her boyfriend see her make-up free.
According to news outlets, many online users criticised her for applying heavy make-up despite being hospitalised. But she must not have been incredibly sick given that she mustered enough energy to wear (pretty heavy!) make-up. And if she pulled the look together in a jiffy, she definitely knew what she was doing. Her eyebrows were on point and I loved her lipstick colour. Thank God she chose a natural pink hue because if she had gone with red, all hell would have broken loose. At least she tried her best to keep it “natural”. I’d give her A+ for effort.
But reading the story made me delve into deeper thoughts. Has social media set such an incredibly unrealistic beauty standard that she felt the need to look picture perfect at all times — even on her hospital bed?
We are often told to embrace our natural beauty, yet we obsess about covering our flaws with make-up. Do we use make-up as a shield to hide our insecurities or to enhance our beauty?
I admit I used to perceive make-up as a tool to cover up my insecurities too, but I got over that after becoming a mother. The turning point happened when my husband’s friend visited us at home, shortly after I had given birth.
As I was still in confinement, I saw no point in “touching up” my face whenever a guest came over for a visit. When I went to greet my husband’s friend, we talked for a while and it was not long before he remarked about my biggest insecurity — my naturally dark lips.
“I never knew your lips were so dark, I’m always used to seeing you with lipstick, for a moment there I thought you were unwell.”
I was surprised at myself for not letting a remark like that bother me. The old me would’ve gone back to my room and swiped on a layer of lipstick right away to make myself feel better. But I thought to myself, no matter how many layers of lipstick I apply, it won’t change the fact that I have dark lips. So why couldn’t I just embrace it? I need to stay true to myself. In some ways, I wished the influencer hadn’t covered up so much for the sake of her boyfriend because if you can’t be comfortable showing your true self to the one you love, is it really love?
But on another note, if putting on that much make-up made her feel more confident and happy, who are we to judge?
There is another story about a woman from the United Kingdom who never lets her partner see her without make-up — ever! Mind you, they live together. This means, she sleeps with make-up on, wakes up the next day and rushes to the bathroom to remove it, before re-applying all over again. She says she doesn’t feel confident letting her partner see her without make-up.
Whether you’re the type who wears heavy make-up on a daily basis or someone who thinks just mascara is enough to get you through the day, embrace yourself and be confident with the decisions you make as beauty is subjective. It’s important to accept who you really are even without make-up. As for me, lipsticks are an essential part of my make-up bag, but I’ve decided that stepping out of the house with no lipstick on wouldn’t be the end of the world. An advice from me to you: you do you.