Make no mistake, I’m not trying to win a quarantine survival contest–to be the best account of myself in quarantine. I wear the same pair of leggings too many daylights in a row, alternating my favorite pair with my second favorite duet when laundry epoch gets close. I’ve stretched out the time between washing my whisker for too many daylights and tell myself I’m just trying to conserve shampoo and conditioner, or even that I’m letting my hair regenerate itself with natural oils–sometimes I like to rotate my self-justifications. But makeup–every day. Every single day.
Yes, some days I have a reason to look passable. I’m still working–Zooming with consumers, teaching virtual Pilates years in an effort to hopefully require a little normalcy to others in times that are nothing but regular. But even on epoches I’m not schooling, my eyeliner is perfectly winged out( or as perfectly as I’ve ever been able to manage the winged look ).
It feels like vanity. It feels like peak superficiality. There’s a deadly virus ruining countries around the world, healthcare workers are suiting up in hazmat gear to care for patients who are dying alone while essential workers are parading into work afraid for their lives, and hitherto, every morning, I swipe on my mascara and order my sees with eyeliner. To go nowhere. To read no one face-to-face.
And it’s not the first time I’ve clear epoch for a makeup routine when makeup should be the last thing on my mind.
I have three striking caches from the day of my young husband’s funeral. The time all the air in the entire universe abruptly disappeared and I cupped my hands over my mouth to suppress the scream in my throat. The minute I ambled behind the coffin with my two small children huddled by my line-up. And the moment before all those other instants, when I stood before dawn in front of the shower reflect and rowed my dilate eyes with liquid black eyeliner.
There’s a chance the reason for my unfailing makeup chore lies in the fact that my frivolity knows no bandageds. Maybe I’m that woman in repugnance movies that’s checking her lipstick in the rearview mirror, very obsessed with herself to bother with even glance at what’s going on around her. I’d like to think not.
There are a few good reasons floating around of the reasons why some wives are wearing makeup in quarantine. First, and arguably most importantly, wearing makeup has never been for other people. And yes. I’m not wearing makeup because I want to look pretty for my neighbour who I motion to from great distances if we happen to leave our rooms at the same time to get the mail.( Although some dates that motion is the very highlight of my socially isolated era .)
Samantha Boardman, MD , a clinical coach in psychiatry and assistant attending analyst at Weill Cornell Medical College, tells Refinery2 9that wearing makeup is a beneficial channel to separate your workday from your weekend date. During isolation, the days tend to blur. Workspaces and homespaces are indistinguishable and anything that creates a boundary is helpful. But I’m wearing makeup on the weekends, more, so this isn’t my ground, though it meets excellent sense.
Dr. Stewart Shankman, chief of psychology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told the New York Times that putting on makeup offers an opportunity to present a sense of control when” what’s going on outside is irrepressible .” Yes and yes. The thought that I can assure even something as insignificant as the length of my eyelashes is terrifically calming.
There’s also a meditative phase of putting on makeup that hadn’t come to me until I speak Dr. Boardman’s cause. She says,” when all of our intention is being addrest into one domain, and when we are using our hands, there’s something beautiful about the level of attending you’re bringing to something that shapes you feel strong and good .” It’s true that there is something appeasing about blending and brushing and depicting a fine front on a flake of surface area. And when I’m engaged in the act of applying makeup, I’m not checking my phone or worrying about the next catastrophe that is likely to strike.
For me, I’m wearing makeup for all the reasons above, and one more. I’m wearing makeup for the same reason I wore makeup to my husband’s funeral.
I remember with crystal clarity the moment I painted my noses with black eyeliner, and I recollect thoughts how silly the act was. But I too remember recalling if I had eyeliner on, maybe I wouldn’t cry–as if crying at my husband’s funeral are indications of weakness. I retain envisioning I didn’t want anyone to see me interrupt, as if carefully winged eyeliner and a little blush could disguise how very broken I’d been. And I remember looking at myself in the reflect, after I devoted my makeup, and encountering myself, examining a person I recognized, a familiar face framed against a start epoch that appeared unlike any daylight I’d seen before.
I’m wearing makeup during quarantine not for my neighbour( though, hi !) and not because I’ll somehow trick anyone into believing this( all the pandemic and quarantine related this) isn’t taking a toll on me, but because at the end of the day, I need to know that even if the world around me looks like nothing I can recognize, I can look in the reflect and investigate a face I recognize, verify a person who doesn’t definitely sounds like a stranger, receive a woman who hasn’t faded into the background, who is ever-present and steadfast and unfaltering in at least one small way.
As a world-wide pandemic alterations everything we formerly knew, there’s something comforting in that.
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