For months on end, I’ve carried this bright, pepto-pink bag around with me. Year after year, as much of a nuisance it has been, it’s still there. It’s a nagging reminder of the so-called femininity I am expected to possess. And every time I arrive somewhere, unpack my belongings, and then have to do it all over again, I have to shove its unwanted, awkward shape into my backpack.
Why the hell would I keep bringing it, then? Just like Cheryl Strayed brought 12 condoms in her bag, Monster, to hike the PCT alone. What for? Open up this small bag and you’ll find foundation, powder, an eyelash curler, eyeshadows, eyeliners, and several shades of lipstick. All useless to me. When was the last time make-up actually enriched someone’s travel experience? When was the last time you saw me on the road with my face done up? I’ve come out into the world to travel and explore, not to do a photo shoot with Vogue. That’s just not my style, and I don’t think it should be expected of women to paint their faces if they feel comfortable in their skin as it is.
And so, I’ve made up my mind. Traveling and make-up just don’t go together. Not the way I travel, at least. It’s bullshit. Yes, people want to put their best foot forward. But we can do that with our words, actions, and behavior. Isn’t that a better way to represent yourself than by wasting 20-40 minutes of the day layering powders and liquids on your face? Personally, I think natural beauty goes much further.
Eliminating the little pink bag will be like saying good-bye to the potential self I could be. Not the one I want to be, but the self that many people desired me to be. The status quo. Less grit, more flowers. Less raw truth, more masks. Less me, more you- whoever “you” may be.
The bag has got to go.
What do you think? Do you wear make-up while traveling, and why/why not? Let us know in the comments below.