On Fleet

Like many of us, I got sucked into watching a stream of videos on Facebook the other day. I landed on one from a fashion blogger sharing makeup application techniques. She started with a layer of foundation about ten shades darker than her actual skin, and she proceeded through at least seven layers of MORE foundations. When she was done, she looked like a runway model. She was flawless and sexy–on fleet–but she had a lot of time and money invested in her look. There had to be over $100 invested in just the foundations she used alone to look like this. The look was so foreign to her own skin that I imagine her own mother wouldn’t recognize her is she passed her on the street. She was incognito.

When I was younger, I had the most beautiful porcelain skin. Cover Girl couldn’t make a shade light enough for me. I had bright cherry pops of color in the apples of my cheeks that other girls envied too. I was proud of my mix skin. Then, one day an art teacher pulled me aside outside of class. She wanted to inform me about a condition called rosacea that could be causing my facial blemishes. She thought she was helping me with her unsolicited medical advice. I was always self conscious about how I looked after that.

Over time, the cherries expanded, and my whole face looked a little ruddy. I tried to hide the uneven tones of my skin in foundation, but nothing stayed on. All makeup melts in the hot summer sun, even the expensive kind. My favorite skin to wear is my own.

If cells had a voice, I wonder what they would say about all the layers of makeup we put on them. Stop, you’re suffocating me?!

We put all kinds of filters on our images to change the way we look to the world. We want you to like us, but we wouldn’t know each other on the street.

At what point did we become so uncomfortable in our own skins that we had to bury them in borrowed ones to be “on fleet”? When did makeup become less about enhancing natural beauty and more about hiding it?