The first boy I ever properly loved was glorious. We were friends but naturally I developed feelz because I have eyes and I’m not dead inside. But I was batting way outside my league and I knew it. No wait. You know where the game was held? I was not even in the parking lot, I was in the neighboring town, serving ice cream.

Let me get to the point.

I asked this boy to a dance; he miraculously said yes. It took him 3 days to reply, but he said yes. I knew I had to look my best…nay…I knew I had to look less like me and more like Venus if I was ever to stand a chance.

I poured over every make-up DIY video I could find. The internet was young then, but everything it had on beautifying, I inhaled. I went to large department stores and asked for advice from those pretty ladies behind the make-up desks. One gave me a ‘make-over’. I looked 13,7 times worse afterwards but I suspected she was drunk so I managed to explain it away.

On the night in question I gave it my best shot. The make-up was flawless. And when I say flawless, I mean this: if you put make-up on a soccer ball, it’s still gonna look like a soccer ball, but some people will walk by and say, oh look those nice colors!

I couldn’t sleep last night and of course this was my license to scroll through Instagram for what felt like 4 days. As is the case with most social media platforms, I guess, there are a lot of make-up tutorial thingies. I like the Halloween make-up ones. But there are a lot…I mean a lot…of young girls applying make-up in manners that had me completely befuddled.

One did things with at least 6 types of foundation. Well, some of it was contouring and concealer and stuff. But goodness, what are you looking to hide, the nuclear launch codes tattooed on your face? Another girl covered her entire face in red lipstick, then applied foundation. I consider myself pretty smart, but I couldn’t figure out why she had done this.

Another girl started off with a fully made up face, then covered her cheeks in a red substance, then applied another couple of layers of foundation-stuff.

And my first thought while watching in horror, was: what the hell are they doing?

I lie, that was my second thought. My first was: It’s happened. I’m old. And I don’t know shit.

The Internet is saturated with young, beautiful girls applying masks rather than make-up. I know the Kardashians get a lot of blame for the impossible-to-kill-trend of cosmetic alteration and frenzied make-up application, but I refuse to believe they’re the cause. I think they’re just another symptom. We live in a world where beauty is no longer enough. To get noticed these days, you have to be holy-shit-have-you-seen-that gorgeous. You have to be more beautiful than you think you are.

Like I wanted to be more beautiful for the boy. Looking back at that disaster of a dance, I can confirm that the boy never fell for me. Our ‘friendship’ lasted for a year or two more until our lives took different directions, then we never spoke again. As it turns out, my appearance was never the problem. I was from a poor family and I was as cool as a hot turd that just fell from a sick cow. He was almost two hours late picking me up because he was embarrassed to be seen with me and didn’t want the evening to ‘feel’ long. He also never asked me to dance at my dance.

It took me a really long time to admit to myself that he didn’t like me because I was not beautiful enough. It was just so much harder to admit he didn’t like me for something much deeper. Blaming my face was just easier…

Last night I couldn’t help but wonder if these ‘cake-up the make-up’ girls are hoping for something that they will not achieve, and if they will then too blame their faces. I hope not. I hope they are wiser than me. I hope they learn much sooner than I did that while a face is important (it contains your eyes, mouth and shit, you know…), it’s only a fraction of the story.

My upbringing made me a tough bitch. My uncoolness has become my freak flag that I wave with pride. I mean, I’m still pretty uncool, but I find that I’m surrounded now by other rather uncool freakazoids who I love passionately and who’ll run circles around cute-boy with his godly bone structure (although I heard somewhere Mother Nature and Father Time came together to nicely screw him over…).

As a youngster I tried so hard to appear a certain way. I’m so sorry I did that. I wish I had the wisdom to say to people…and to myself…yes, so I live in so-and-so part of town…so what? Don’t piss me off or I’ll bring downtown to you… (that sounded better in my head).

Anyway, these days I still put on some make-up. It’s the best thing ever. And when I look in the mirror after a good ten minutes of swishing around the magic wand of cosmetic-o, I almost always think: oh man…that’s the best it’s gonna get. And that’s fine too.

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