I remember in eighth grade feeling so small. I was actually physically small, but I also felt small in presence. I was overlooked and undervalued. Phrases like, “You can’t date Jocelyn she doesn’t have any boobs” were common and it taught me to place my value in my physical appearance. I remember begging my mom to let me wear make up, to let me feel beautiful and desired and valuable.
When she finally allowed me to sophomore year of high school, a.k.a I went out and bought makeup for myself, I remember the excitement I felt to at last have a presence. I woke up at five every morning before school so I could do my hair and put on this mask of makeup. I covered imperfections invisible to the common eye, and doused my lashes in mascara. Anything, to make me stand out and command attention. And I continued this routine for the next four years until I started my junior year of college. In this time period I did gain more attention, and that only continued to support this idea that my value was in my appearance.
Something changed junior year, and I can only attribute it to minimalism. It started when I started simplifying. I reduced my makeup collection significantly by getting rid of the products I didn’t use. I also began to simplify my schedule and realized I did not want to wake up early every morning in order to put on makeup. Minimalism’s central point is that what you have is enough, and minimalism taught me that what I was given naturally, in appearance and who I am as a person, was enough. The characteristics I had intrinsically were far more superior in maintaining relationships, being successful in school, and doing things I loved than the characteristics I had physically.
I don’t wear makeup as a mask anymore, when I wear makeup it’s because I want to and I do enjoy the creativity that wearing makeup provides. I do not need the beauty products to feel beautiful. I do not need to cover myself up in order for people to respect and value me. I am enough, and even though I became “less beautiful” I feel more empowered and attractive in my energy than I ever thought I could be.
And I know that this is extremely cliche. But I wrote this to highlight that once you adopt a minimalist perspective on life, you realize that the superficial things that consumerism tells you you need in order to be happy are a lie. Once you get rid of the excess, you really get to the root of life and contentment
What has minimalism taught you about life? Let me know in the comments below!