The Unintended Advantage

There’s an unintended advantage of wearing a face mask, which I didn’t realize until today–no need to fix your hair or even wear makeup before you step out. Face masks can be liberating, time saving, anxiety reducing. I mean the anxiety of feeling yourself not looking as good as you should look. Now it is all gone. Well, it could be that the worry about the virus overwhelms all other worries. That can be the case. Still wearing a mask contributes to the secret delight of being free from having to look good. I just use a hairpin to fix my hair into a bun, and apply a casual layer of foundation and a quick eye-lining on the eyelids. Less than five minutes. I am out of the door. It feels wonderful.

I heard stories of diligent women who spend hours every morning to apply makeup in order to look good for their job. The longest is four hours and this woman had to get up at five o’clock in the morning.

The problem is that my face looks only a little bit better with the help of makeup. It doesn’t help that much. If it does, I think I wouldn’t mind spending more time to apply more makeup despite the fact that I might theoretically agree that not wearing makeup is more natural and wearing makeup is more artificial. In practice, I would like to do things that make me look better. That’s for sure. So if I like the makeup, the artificiality, the dolling up oneself, why do I feel this sense of freedom of not wearing much makeup under the mask? We like both, I guess, and we can never reconcile the two and we just try our best to manage the two conflicting aspects of life.

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