Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend when I brought up how I've been really wanting to try out double eyelid tape to alter my hooded eyelids. She looked at me with a slightly offended face and then told me, in a very subtle way, that I should stay my "natural" self. Now, there's nothing wrong with her having a personal preference and being "natural" certainly has its benefits in a society that seems to equate the use of makeup or ,of any other body modification, as a sign of either self-hatred or narcissism, but her advice made me wonder 'What part of me exactly makes you think that I wanted to look "natural"". .
And as I looked at my reflection in my phone just after the conversation, with my hair dyed purple, my eyebrows tweezed, and my acne kept at bay with years-worth of product---nothing about me was "natural", even without any makeup on, and I was perfectly happy with it. .
After having spent most of my free-time since adolescence watching makeup-tutorials in which average looking women transform their average looking faces into whatever it is they believe to be the most perfect version of themselves, I've come to believe that being "natural" is boring. There's so much freedom in makeup and in body modifications, so much opportunity to grow and adapt, to come to love yourself without needing the permission of traditional beauty standards. To conform to what society tells me a woman should look like by shaving legs religiously or dying my hair brown would require me to sacrifice my ability to decide what I want to look like when I see my reflection. It would mean that I would have to slaughter my ability to think for myself and that I would have to allow myself to be conquered by a constant body of voices telling me that they know what's best for me and for me to just shutup and act like a good girl.