Makeup and Poor Self-Image

Posted on July 29, 2006

I have recently realized that my self image affects my relationship with my husband. To most, especially those that are older and wiser than me, this may seem like common knowledge. I had to learn it the hard way yesterday.

And yes, out of a lack of anything else to write about, I am going to go against everything I stand for and talk about my marriage… I might regret this tomorrow!

I woke up from a nightmare, as usual. From those of you that are new to this blog, I have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. One of the effects of this is, I suffer from nightmares 3-6 days a week. Most are about being kidnapped, being separated from my husband, or having my children taken from me. (I don’t actually have any children though.) Who is doing the kidnapping? The “BP” in my life…

Anyway, I woke up after having a nightmare about not being able to get to my husband and “people” preventing me from seeing him. I felt groggy and couldn’t get the memory of my dream out of my head. It was making me feel very insecure and when I feel insecure, I tend to confuse it with my self-image. In doing this once again, I decided that I would do the one thing that makes me feel better about how I look; putting makeup on.

I went into our bathroom and put on a little light brown eyeshadow, a tiny bit of eyeliner on my bottom lid, and a light colored lip gloss. Very simple, very un-noticeable, but enough to make me feel “dressed up” and put together. I forgot about my dream, felt a bit happier from gussying myself up, and went about my day.

When my husband came back from class the first thing he did was starred at me for a minute with this “look” on his face and then he said, “Why do you have makeup on?”. Now most people would put the accentuation on the word ‘makeup’ but he put the accentuation on the words ‘why’ and ‘on’. Of course to me this translates to “Why the hell did you do that to yourself? What were you thinking of? I hate it!” Yeah, you can all see where this is going…

I tried to remain calm, although I felt like popping him in the nose for even addressing the fact that I had makeup on. I don’t like it when he points things like that out… So I simply said, “I felt like.”

Apparently, to my husband, ‘feeling like it’ is not a legitimate reason to do something. He thinks that I have an underlying intent… a deeper reason of why I felt the need to put the makeup on in the first place. I tried to explain to him that I simple felt like putting makeup on because it was fun and it made me feel pretty. He should have taken it and dropped the subject, but no…

“Why is putting makeup on “fun” for you? It doesn’t make you look pretty, it makes you look worse. I like you better without makeup. You don’t need makeup.”

By this time I am feeling incredibly insecure and ugly. (Yes, I am very sensitive) “I don’t care if you think I look good without makeup. It makes me feel pretty.”

“Why does makeup make you feel pretty?”

“It just does… It makes me feel dressed up and more feminine.”

“But you don’t need makeup and it doesn’t make you look better. In fact, it makes you look worse. I think you look better with no makeup on.”

“Oh so you think dark circles under my eyes, chapped lips, and pimples are hot?”

“No, I just think you look worse with makeup on.”

“Oh! That’s just great! You think I look BAD to begin with and even worse when I put makeup on?! Are you telling me that the one good thing that makes me feel good about myself, makes me look WORSE?!” (Can’t you just hear the tone of my voice at this point…?)

He attempted to dig his way out of the hole he had just created and I attempted not to cry as my self esteem level went soaring down. Needless to say, I ended up crying and washing my face out of embarrassment. And he finally apologized for making me feel worse.

Once again a good example of how ones self-image can affect your relationships.

If I hadn’t been so insecure about how I looked, my husband telling me that I look better without makeup would have made me feel better, not worse. If he had actually said that I looked better without makeup instead of saying that I look worse with makeup, it wouldn’t have made me feel worse than I was already feeling by that time. He’s pretty clueless when it comes to these things… Mostly because of the Asperger’s Syndrome I think. However, please don’t think I am making excusses for him now…

What did I learn from this? To not let other people’s opinion affect how I feel about myself in a negative way. And not to wear makeup during the day when I am only bumming around the house…. or never wear makeup again for the rest of my life……

Filed under: Asperger Syndrome , Personal Thoughts





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