See Barbie without makeup!
I struggle with the term ‘natural beauty’. Trees and waterfalls, flowers and babies — I recognize their innate gorgeousness. But my face in the mirror each morning? That’s a stretch. When I look in the mirror I don’t see natural beauty reflected but rather issues that need correction. I see dark circles crying out for concealer, a laugh line that gets increasingly more pronounced no matter how many pricey wrinkle crèmes I buy (why did I laugh so much in my youth!), and unruly eyebrows that won’t rest until they form a solid caterpillar-like shape running across my forehead.
Why does my face seem to be so rebelliously anti-natural beauty?
Perhaps it’s just a conflict between fantasy and reality. When I look in the mirror I may be comparing it to some perfect shadow self that exists only in my mind. Should I blame Barbie, my childhood plaything, for my lack of self-confidence when it comes to going au naturel? Did her perfectly pink lips, perfect complexion (no red spots, no pimples, no dark circles) and pageant queen makeup establish unrealistic expectations that I’ve carried with me through to adulthood?
I don’t know. It’s possible. I don’t want to be too hard on Barbie because she got me through some tough times. But what would Barbie look like without makeup? It’s kind of like wondering what Angelina Jolie looks like sans makeup and hair and all the glamorous accoutrements of a movie star.
A Reddit user has answered the Barbie question for me, giving the iconic doll a make-under and stripping her of her signature eyeshadow and lipstick. See it here.
What’s so fascinating about the image is the fact that Barbie looks tired! She’s still got her perfectly symmetrical features and glossy blonde hair — she still looks pretty — but Barbie looks like she could use a good nap.
Call me crazy, but for the first time ever I felt a strange bond with Barbie. The fantasy suddenly seemed almost real, and with her tired eyes, sleepy smile and messy ponytail, Barbie kind of looks like me. Natural beauty suddenly takes on a new definition. Rather than glossy perfection, I think I’ll settle for smiling through fatigue.