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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, February 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mama Bear Moxie: Makeup doesn’t define beauty

By Kristina Phelan For The Spokesman-Review

As a mom to a 5-year-old daughter, I have been careful to watch what I say to her about her beauty. I don’t want her to think that putting on a headband, wearing a pretty dress or changing her natural appearance are the only ways that a girl can be pretty. I want her to know that you are pretty no matter how you look. Beauty is a reflection of our personality, attitude and love for others.

I’m being careful about what I say to her when she does put on those items because I want her to have self-confidence but also want to teach her about true beauty. I don’t know if I have done this purposely, but I scaled back my makeup a lot in the past few months. A year ago, I would put on makeup if I was going to leave the house and would rarely be seen in a store without at least some powder and mascara on. But now I find myself forgetting to put on makeup entirely.

So what changed?

Part of it is that going sans makeup is in vogue now. Alicia Keys, a judge on “The Voice,” has appeared on the show with her hair done but no makeup. She is standing up to this idea that women are required to change their face in order to go out in public. When asked about her choice, she said she didn’t want to cover up anymore.

Now, I am not saying that I won’t put on makeup from time to time, but I am definitely on the trend of less is more. I want to show my daughter that makeup is fun to wear sometimes, but that I am perfectly complete without it. I also want to teach my sons that women don’t need to wear makeup and that God made us beautiful no matter what. I don’t see pressure in the world for men to hide dark circles under their eyes or skin blemishes, so why is that same pressure put on women?

I understand there are also women who truly enjoy wearing makeup. It is a fun thing that they do that brings them happiness, and that’s great! For me, the problem was that I starting believing the only time I look beautiful is when I have a full face of make up on. That is the inner struggle I have had to come to terms with this past year. Changing my own way of thinking about makeup has helped me embrace the fact that my natural skin, age spots and all, is just as beautiful.

I want to teach my daughter that women don’t have to change their appearance, or hide their imperfections, in order to be presentable to the world. It is a subtle change I am making in order to re-write the intentions of how makeup is used in my household.

Kristina Phelan is a former Spokane-area resident now living in Illinois. Visit her website at www.mamabear

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