No Wellness Wankery

2: But wait, how can I be confident without makeup?

May 10, 2022 Lyndi Cohen
No Wellness Wankery
2: But wait, how can I be confident without makeup?
Show Notes Transcript

No Wellness Wankery is the podcast that speaks directly to you about what’s going on in your life. And we can't do that without you!

Each week we will release a special episode with your questions to determine if a topic is wellness or if it's wankery?

Did we already give this away in the title... if not, surprise!

First up we have a question from Nat all the way from London. Nat wants to chat makeup, how to build up the courage to wear less or even how to deal with the constant pressure to lipstick up.

If you have a question relating to body confidence, nutrition, or weight, please send it through! Email or send a message to Lyndi on Instagram @nude_nutritionist


In my FREE 30-day challenge I’ll help you flip your middle finger to diet culture and find real health instead.  Click here to sign up.


 Hey, welcome back to the No Wellness Wankery podcast. I'm Jenna. I'm Lyndi. And in this episode, we're going to do this each week, which we are loving hearing everyone's questions coming in. We're going to be answering your question. Well, Lindy's going to be answering your question. I'll be contributing. I'll be contributing. You're helping. I'm helping. As always, if you have a question that you're thinking you'd want an answer to, a topic, if you're thinking, is this wellness or is this wankery, because that's the gist of this, send it in. Go on to Lyndi's Instagram. It's nude underscore nutritionist. Send a voice note because we'd love to hear your voice, a little bit about what you're struggling with, what you're facing, and then Lyndi can answer it for you. So that first question.

 Hi, so my name is Nat. I live in London. I've been following you for a while. The topic that I want you to talk about a bit more is stopping wearing makeup. I see that in your latest posts you're not wearing makeup and I love it and I think we need to normalize that. But I do know that people feel sometimes very self-conscious to not wear makeup, especially when say we're on our periods and or we're a bit pale like after winter. I myself haven't worn makeup for years unless it's a special occasion but I sometimes find it hard to to not wear it when I am feeling a bit down or when I feel like my face is not helping

 and I know that my friends find it even harder. So thank you. Oh I love this as a topic. It's a big one, something I can really relate to. So a bit of background about me. When I kind of became a teenager, I was so insecure about how I looked. I would wear makeup every single day. In fact, I didn't step out of the house unless I was wearing makeup and quite a lot of makeup. In fact, I think I was probably about 17, I was doing this like army adventure experience and I woke up at like 5am just so I could put on makeup before anyone else saw me. And one of my team members, he commented on the fact that I had actually done that. And I don't think it was about me being narcissistic. I really think it came from a place of insecurity. And I had grown up and, you know, watching my mom, she's always the kind of person who wears makeup everywhere that she goes. So it's almost like the culture that I've been taught that this is the way that I need to look. And then I realized at some point that this was really eating into a large part of my day. You know, having to do my makeup for just half an hour every day took up, I mean, that's half an hour. I could be doing a whole range of other things. So I progressively wore less and less makeup. And one of the things that I found quite remarkable about when I stopped wearing makeup is the number of people who would ask me, are you sick? Are you tired? And I just wanted to say, no, this is just my face. We've been so programmed into thinking that women look a certain way, that they're blemish free, that they should somehow be airbrushed even when we see them in person. And it's so messed up. So I love that idea now that we really need to try and be representing this idea that it's okay not to wear makeup. And I'm not talking about posting a photo on Instagram being like, hashtag no makeup, so brave. Well, I'm so impressed by how raw you're being. No, I really just mean like turning up. There's some crazy evidence to show that women who turn up to job interviews who wear makeup are more likely to get the job, they get seen as being more professional, and there is such an expectation on women to paint their faces. And let's not be under any illusion about what this is. This is about trying to make us look more attractive to cover up our so-called imperfections.

 I feel like, I know in probably my experience, I've had maybe family members or someone comment being like, why don't you put some lipstick on or why don't you do this or why don't you do that and even a lot to do with even like my hair, like I feel like I have a big thing about wearing my hair out because every time I ever wear my hair out, people say something like, why don't you put your hair up? So it makes me feel this thing about like my natural hair isn't good enough, my natural lips aren't good enough and then that makes you think that you need to put it on.

 I think we're getting into very dangerous territory these days where cosmetic surgery as well is something that's quite common and I was looking to some research and plastic surgeons reported that selfies and self-care were the main reasons why they believe cosmetic surgery has gone up 47% since 2014. We have things like Instagram filters that apply really I mean crazily unrealistic makeup and filters on you. I don't know if you ever tried

 them? I always wonder, like it's so crazy when you see someone post a filter and then you can like try it for yourself and you see what it's doing to your face and it's like whoa! How could anyone post that knowing it's so different from what

 they actually look like? It's so different and it doesn't feel like yourself. I think I used to date a few guys as well who had expectations that I needed to wear makeup all the time. They thought that was what being feminine was all about. And I think I realized I couldn't be with this type of person because, you know, let's say I didn't want to wear makeup or I gained weight. I really had a deep knowing or insecurity that this person wouldn't just back me up in my worst moments. I think that's what you need when you're looking for that partner.

 And I feel like another thing which I'm struggling with on this topic a lot that I hear my friends will say, they're like, oh, I just get eyelash extensions or I get my eyebrows laminated because then I just don't need to wear makeup and I feel fine without makeup. And it's like, do you need to do these basically semi-permanent changes to your face is the only way that you can get away with not wearing makeup?

 Oh, yes. Isn't that right? And the amount of cost and the amount of time that's required to do those kinds of grooming.

 And the time. Eyelashes, even if they were free, which they're definitely not free, the time it takes out of your day, basically fortnightly, is unsustainable.

 How do you feel when you see a friend who's not wearing makeup? Let's say you've gone out for dinner. Do you think any differently of them?

 No. It's a weird thing, but I remember years ago, one of my friends had a pimple, and I remember looking at it thinking, oh, I actually don't care that you have a pimple. And I dare say, if you looked at me, you would think the exact same thing. Like you have this full emotional weight that you put on bags under my eyes or a pimple or a blemish or a red spot, but then when it's on someone else, sure you notice it,

 but the emotion isn't there, so you don't actually care. Yeah, absolutely. I've gone through a bit of a journey with all this on my Instagram. So when I first started Instagram, posting to Instagram, it probably would have been around like 2014 and I really felt the need to try and look like how I thought a health influencer was meant to look like. Like you know what I'm talking about. She's perfect, she's doing all the things. She's waking up early. Her hair is always looking really pulled together." And then after a few years of doing that, I just felt so exhausted trying to keep up with those expectations, just even more high standards that I was feeling like I was never able to actually commit to and meet. And I feared that if I turned up as my real self that people would judge me. But you know what? The opposite happens. When I started turning up more as myself, my imperfect human, I feel like other people can finally sigh in relief going, me too. And then they can be more of themselves as well. So what we've created right now, what we're stuck in, is this world where we're all pretending. Like this is what we look like and this is how it is. But what would happen if we all kind of just decided as a group that we weren't going to play into such higher standards? I have a friend and we both have anxiety, so we made a friendship pact that if we had something we wanted to discuss with that person, we were going to raise it in the exact moment instead of going home and having anxiety about it afterwards. My lovely colleague, Bec Day, she talked about how when she was a new mum, her friend made a pact with her that they weren't going to ferociously clean their houses before the other person came over, that they were going to agree that that friendship could be a place where they didn't have to hold up a facade. So I'm just wondering, what if we had more of these kinds of things where we just had relationships in our life where we knew we were safe to turn up as ourselves? How much better it would be to feel like we weren't being judged.

 Maybe that's a good place to start in if you want to, not even necessarily if you need to wear less makeup because I don't think that's the thing either. It's just the pressure and then the anxiety around thinking you have to wear it. I see a psychologist regularly, love her to bits. She's my favourite. And she always says all things are fine to do until they're maladaptive and cause you anxiety. If you wear makeup every day, and that's fine, but if you have an anxious thought of, I can't leave the house without it, then it's no longer a good relationship of just enjoying makeup, having fun, eye shadow, then it's like maybe you need to find a safe space first, maybe some people that you know aren't gonna judge you, your closest people.

 Or people you don't know at all.


 And going out into that situation and being like, look, no one actually does care. But I think what you're saying is so spot on. We're not saying that makeup is bad. I'm a huge fan of makeup, actually. In fact, in my free time, I watch YouTube tutorials. It's fun. It's so fun. I think it's really fun. But it's when you feel like you're going to get judged for turning up as your real human


 That's it.

 This is something that men don't think about, by the way, of course.


 And then, flip side, some males are like, well, they don't have any option to hide behind anything so they just have to front up and do it. I still remember in high school, you see the girls suffering with such bad skin problems and you feel so bad for them, it's painful, and they've got so much makeup on it that it's not helping.

 Yeah, making it so much worse and it's kind of just exacerbating the issue.

 So where do you think you would start with trying to wear a little bit

 less if you think it's causing you anxiety? Well there's a few different ways to go about it. For me I was okay well firstly to go exercise that might be a good place to start where you go you know what that's a place where I do not have to wear makeup that's a place where I'm going to be sweating and I know it can be hard when you go to gyms and you're surrounded by all these mirrors. Why do we still do that? We're like surround ourselves by mirrors. No one wants to do that.

 No one wants that.

 I hate it. I hate it too, but maybe that is the place or maybe you decide that's not the place. You know, if I'm going for a walk, I'm definitely not wearing makeup. I'm wearing lots of SPF. You know that. As you said, it could be when you go on holiday, right? So you could use that as an opportunity to challenge yourself because you're not going to run into people that you know really. And also there's something really liberating about not checking your reflection in the mirror so much when you're on holiday and how much you can kind of feel a lot more relaxed about how you look.

 Where would you start?

 That is something I hadn't really thought about until you just said it. When you're on holidays, I feel like you definitely wear less makeup. I'm actually not a big makeup wearer in general, but it's kind of like I come from a place where I kind of feel like I'm bad at it. It's one of those things where I still feel the pressure like I should be. So that's something that carries in your head all the time that I should be wearing it. My thing I probably need to start with is when people make comments like, why don't you put some lipstick on or why don't you do that? What could I say?

 Yeah, having a rebuttal to say, actually, I like my lips the way they are. I don't feel the need to, but thanks for the suggestion. What else could you say?

 I don't know. I feel like you probably don't need to say much more than, I'm happy with my face the way it is. But it sounds like you need something more profound than that.

 And you have to be okay with the discomfort of that person's reaction. Because what they're saying, they think that's a socially acceptable thing to say, but it's not. So if you just allow it to kind of happen, then they think that's fine, they'll probably be a repeat offender again.

 I'm sure Lucia Keys just doesn't wear makeup at all on red carpets anymore. And I find it so interesting to look, because on the red carpet, people have so much makeup on that the stark difference between her standing there bare-faced next to people that have probably had a makeup artist work on them for maybe three hours, you can see the stark reality of the difference between what we're putting up there as this is normal and a plain bare face. I think that is such a good example to look at how much makeup people are really wearing. And I'm not saying go to the Golden Globes and not wear makeup.

 Like we have the choice.

 Like we have the choice. I had an invitation the other day. But I think it's interesting to maybe...

 Can you go to a luncheon with your girlfriends and be like, no, don't need to. Can you turn up to work and go, don't really need to wear makeup. I don't know. It's like I'm Zoom at the moment. Like I'm wearing bike shorts with like a shirt, trying to keep up the illusion that I'm somehow professional.

 I know, but I feel like definitely work I can get into, but then I feel like a slob that I'm doing it anyway, so then it's like I'm still anxious that I'm not doing it.

 That is the perception as well, that if you aren't wearing makeup, that you're coming across as messy, disorganized, a slob, that you're not put together, that you're bad at time management. Whereas when you're turning up as a very curated version of yourself, people assume that you're more proficient and they assume that you're more capable at your job. So it's almost about turning up and proving that wrong. And part of it comes from you deciding that I'm clean, I'm fresh, and I don't need to like polish myself to the point where I actually have more time, what if I'm not spending that time doing those things.

 That's a great question from Nat about makeup. I hadn't even really thought about it until right now.

 It's a fabulous one. And can I just add as a final remark that I think there are cultural differences when it comes to how much expectation there is around women wearing makeup. I'm ex-South African and I know in the South African community there is a much higher expectation around women wearing makeup. So when my parents immigrated, they were kind of a little bit like taken back the fact that Aussie women don't really wear as much makeup. For them it was like quite a noticeable difference. So wherever you are in the world, there's probably a whole bunch of social pressures about what makeup you should be wearing and what hair removal you need to be doing, all those kinds of things and it's quite exhausting to try and keep up with. So maybe we shouldn't try and keep up with it. Thanks so much for the question, I just loved hearing from you. If you've got another question, please send me a DM with a voice message, ask us a question. We might answer it or we might just have a big chat about it, but either way, I'd be really grateful. Thanks, guys. Do you feel like you know what you should be eating, but you feel completely out of control with food? You're either eating perfectly or you're face planting into the fridge. Well, if you've got binge eating or you're struggling with emotional eating, I can help. Check out my program, Keep It Real. I've got lots I can teach you. And hey, you don't have to be a binge eater for the rest of your life. You can get 20% off Keep It Real when you use the code podcast, when you check out via the website. And because I don't want this to be just another failed attempt for you, I'm offering a 30-day money-back guarantee because you know what, you just gotta give these things a go, because you know what, you just gotta give these things a go, no risk, give it a try, check out Keep It Real.