Change can be a slow process.
Years can slip by while the efforts pile up, allowing you to become the person you want to be.
Of course, not everyone is going to be pleased with the changes you decide to make.
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) comfo5 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my boyfriend that if he wants me to wear makeup, he should learn how to apply it on me?”
She began with the background.
“I used to wear heavy makeup every day before the pandemic. But then, I just stopped. Staying home broke me of the habit.”
“Before that, I felt embarrassed to be seen without makeup. I had to ‘put on a face’ to feel comfortable with myself. I even started getting lip filler.”
“That changed during the pandemic. At first by coincidence, staying home I just started getting used to seeing my own face everyday.”
“And after a while, I realized I was happy with my own face, and when I put on makeup I felt like I was in costume.”
“I also started to resent the fact that beauty standards influenced me so much that I felt like I had to be hiding my own face in the past.”
“I threw out most of my makeup as it was expiring.”
“I’d always used to say that ‘I do my makeup for myself, it’s my hobby’ but I started looking more critically at that… And how my ‘hobby’ just happened to fit into standards for how a woman should look.”
“I heard the metaphor ‘decorating your own cage’ and it really resonated with me.”
“Anyway, I met my boyfriend a year ago, well into my makeup-free phase.”
“And we stayed pretty socially isolated for a while, but just this spring we’ve started getting more social again and going out or to parties.”
Everything was fine, until…
“And recently, I was showing him old pictures of some outfits I thought could work for a couples costume for a party.”
“He seemed kinda wowed by how I looked… Full face of makeup, blonde dyed hair, long extensions, lip filler, etc.”
“He compared me to an Instagram model. I know he meant it as a compliment but it didn’t feel good to hear”
“He asked me if I could do my hair and makeup like that for him sometimes.”
“I told him a lot about how I felt about my relationship with makeup, just like I did in this post and more..”
“And I was pretty upset to hear him say afterwards that what he was asking for wasn’t that deep, he didn’t want me to change my whole face every day, just put in a bit of extra effort for special events.”
She explained her concerns to her boyfriend.
“I said that to me, it was deeper than that, plus I don’t think he realized how much extra effort he was asking for. So I said that I’d wear makeup again, on a few conditions.”
…And tried to compromise with him.
“For the first six months…”
“He buys any makeup that he wants me to wear that I don’t currently own.”
“He learns how to apply it to me. There are videos on YouTube, that’s how I learned.”
“He applies my makeup,”
“I said that that way, he’d understand the work behind what he was asking of me.”
“And also have to understand that if he wanted me to change his appearance to suit him, he’d be acknowledging that, and acknowledging the ways he would like me to look different, by doing that work himself.”
“He said that wasn’t fair, he didn’t know how.”
“I said nobody is born knowing how, I learned on YouTube and so could he if it mattered to him.”
“He’s been kinda frustrated with me since and feels like I’m being lazy.”
OP was left to wonder…
“AITA for what I said about makeup?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that boyfriend isn’t showing a good look.
“He wants the benefit of you doing all the work.”
“You don’t feel like doing all that (totally fine).”
“If he wants it that badly, he can pay for it with his time and money.”
“If he keeps going on and on about it, you will have learned something about him (mainly that he is superficial).” ~ mdthomas
Others encouraged OP to stand her ground.
“Dude don’t back down on this one.”
“I used to wear way more makeup than I do now, but I had a realization like you did.”
“If I wear makeup everyday, and then one day I dont, the comments start flooding in, “are you okay? You look tired or sick.’ “
“Nope, thats just my real face you’re seeing! I dont have cancer, and I slept fine.”
“You’re just not used to seeing my actual face.”
“I realized people didn’t even really know what I looked like!”
“I will very rarely apply makeup now, and when I do its very light.”
“I haven’t worn a full face in a couple years. More power to anyone that loves doing their makeup, but its just not for me and anyone who can’t accept the freaking face I was born with can shove it.”
“If you don’t like wearing makeup you shouldn’t have to in order to feel valued.”
“I think you presented a fantastic compromise to your guy, and he must not care as “ ~ W0lfprud3
“Even if he accepted the compromise, do you want that?”
“Will you feel like he prefers someone you worked to move past?”
“You’re obviously more than that, as anyone who wears full makeup is. And good for anyone who wears it or doesn’t. As long as it’s truly for them.”
“It just may be an incompatibility.”
“I’m sorry you and your feelings felt invalidated.”
“It’s hurtful to have made progress on yourself, be proud, and someone praise your past you. And on top of that ask you to go back.” ~ No-ThatsTheMoneyTit
“I’m so happy for you – learning to love yourself as you are is HUGE and exciting and amazing and so very cool.”
“This is not a judgment against those who love make up.”
“I have 2 friends who are kick ass MUA’s and I’m amazed every day of the looks they put together. I often pay them to help me out before big events because they have such talent.”
“This is just a ‘F’ING GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH’ Post.”
“Also – if he can’t stop comparing this you to the old you, find yourself a Man not a boy.” ~
Commenters wanted to focus on the deeper issues.
“I wonder if he is aware of how much the mental health aspect of having a ‘decorated cage’ is damaging and impedes having a healthy self-esteem.”
“I think you have both missed the boat a bit. You didn’t come away from covid feeling freed from the cost and effort (though that was probably a lovely perk!), but you came away feeling”
” ‘happy with my own face’ “
” ‘started to resent the fact that beauty standards influenced me so much’ “
“What he’s asking isn’t about the waste of time and energy, it’s about stepping back into a persona that was unhappy in their own skin.”
“Maybe try to explain to him that putting on a fake version of you, to impress him or other people, eats away at your self-esteem and makes you feel like you’re not good enough without all the cosmetic alterations.”
“A healthy relationship is when we feel like our SO loves us best just how we are.”
“Dressing up for fun is fine, but the Instagram model remark is a backhanded compliment and makes it sound like he thinks you look better when you don’t look like you.”
“It’s totally normal for that to feel hurtful!”
“ETA: thanks for the awards folks! Shucks!” ~ RuncibleMountainWren
There were also personal stories.
“NTA and I’ll just say this, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years.”
“I hardly ever wear makeup.”
“When I do it’s for special events that I wanna dress up for. My boyfriend thinks I’m stunning either way.”
“Never makes me feel bad on the days I don’t doll up but also knows how to make me feel sexy and special on the days I do just as much as the days I don’t. ¯_(ツ)_/¯” ~ Mediocre_Mechanic_23
Some were concerned with boyfriend’s behavior.
“It’s your face and if you’re over the makeup that’s all that needs to be said.”
“Your compromise honestly just sounds like something one would say to make him think it’d be easier to drop the whole idea, a-la, ‘Oh… I’d have to do all of THAT? Nevermind.’ “
“That he didn’t take it that way and is getting pouty about it is a bit of a red flag.” ~ SacredC0w
Change is a slow, sometimes painful process.
The effort, time, and energy you put into making those alterations to yourself or your situation are important and must be honored.
Be wary of anyone who decides not to honor those sacrifices.