The tabloids use exclamation points and a bold font:Â STARS WITHOUT MAKEUP!Â SEE PHOTOS!!!!Â I always struggle, as I stand in line at the grocery checkout, as to whether I want to look.Â Part of me is curious how the fashion icons appear without the artistry of makeup professionals and airbrushing.Â Part of me says, â€œWhy should it matter? Who determines beauty standards, and why should I accept those standards?” There is almost an environment of shame that these women dare to be in public sans makeup, Spanx, and jewels.
As mentioned in the last couple of blogs, my husband and I recently spent a few days on Isle Royale.Â To say the area is rustic is truthful, and yet being near Windigo made us feel like we were cheating the camping experience.Â There is a small store near the Rangerâ€™s station where food, first-aid, and other crucial needs can be met.Â I had a â€œneedâ€ for a Diet Coke for instance, and that was met.Â My husband however, after a ten-mile hike, was disappointed to learn they were out of ice cream bars until the next supply boat arrived.Â Diet Coke and ice cream bars hardly speak to a stark existence consistent with staving off wolves and scavenging for firewood.
Nonetheless, when packing for our camping trip we knew we would be carrying our supplies on our backs.Â When faced with hiking under a heavy backpack, camera gear, and what-nots, you start to cull the perceived necessities quickly. Â Other than what was on our bodies, both my husband and I decided to take one extra set of clothes in case we got wet.Â As it turned out, that was a platinum gold idea.Â We did get drenched, DRENCHED!!!!, in a thunderstorm, and believe me the availability of warm, dry, clothes was a slice of heaven.
A decision that was hard for me was whether to take along makeup.Â My husband asked me NOT to bring it along.Â He enjoys when I allow myself to be naked in every sense of the word.Â I, on the other hand, struggled with losing my mask; my identity.Â In the end, I opted not to bring anything other than a tinted moisturizer, Carmex, and a bit of lip gloss for special camp night moments involving boxed wine. Â Still, going bare faced was like walking on coals for me.Â Painful.
The first morning, as we rode the ferry across Lake Superior, I kept expecting the other passengers to point and stare at the ugly woman, aka, me.Â Nobody did that.Â In fact one of the crew members was rather flirty.Â I suspected he was experiencing some dire form of female dry spell and shrugged it off.
I found myself struggling to make eye contact with people, and yet not a single soul seemed to give my â€œnaked faceâ€ a momentâ€™s notice.Â They spoke to me, they smiled at me, they engaged in conversations.Â It was weird to say the least. Â Didn’t they notice I was hideous?
As our camping experience moved into the second and third day, I have to admit it was rather nice to simply get out of the sleeping bag, wash my face with a pre-packaged wipe, smudge a bit of moisturizer on my skin, and put my hair into a braid. Walla! Ready for the day.
After our camping trek, we had one more night at a resort located about midway between Grand Portage and Grand Marais, Minnesota.Â I had already warned my husband that nothing short of the apocalypse would keep me from a hot bath, so heâ€™d better stay out of my way.Â He did.Â After I had scraped off bug carcasses, mud, sweat, and camp smoke, I put on clean clothes and makeup. Â I felt like me again and was humming happily.
As my husband and I started off to the dining room, he looked at me a bit wistfully.Â â€œWhatâ€™s that on your face?â€Â At first I thought he meant a mosquito or something, but then I realized he was referring to the makeup.Â I laughed.Â â€œItâ€™s just the old me.â€
I could see him mentally picking his words carefully.Â â€œDo you understand I love the girl who was with me on Isle Royale?â€
â€œDonâ€™t you love the woman who is usually with you?â€ I queried.
â€œOf course I do.Â But knowing you can let go, that you can trust that I find you beautiful as God made you, that touches me deeply.â€
I put my head on his shoulder.Â Nothing more needed to be said.