• Skyler Neal

Lipstick - A War Paint

Updated: Jan 12, 2019


Self-assurance. What a pretty little thing with a huge impact on all of our lives. I'm a fairly confident person, I'm able to speak my mind and stand up for myself which was not always the case and definitely always a work in progress for me. I encountered a period of growth starting in seventh grade when I began to feel anxious and depressed, why? I'm really fucking sensitive. The world in its entirety felt like a weight that I could not carry by myself and for that I felt alone. I went to therapy, explored meditation, and yoga. For me, I heal through talking out loud which is why I've continued to see a therapist over the last few years up until my first semester at college. Sometimes I felt like my problems were silly compared to many in this world whose daily existence is a constant struggle but every bit of it felt real to me. I like control and my anxiety is a response to everything I cannot control to the point where it's completely irrational. Even as I'm writing this blog post I'm struggling to breathe fully (surprisingly not as dramatic as it sounds). I've noticed that anytime I have lot's of downtime, like right now on winter break, I find needless things to worry about to keep me entertained but in fact it just stresses me the fuck out. You'd think I'd be more stressed when I have a packed week in college but it calms me because this is structured time, time that I know exactly what I'm going to do with. When I get into this state of haggard breathing and worrisome thinking it used to drag me to a place where I'd be stuck in bed, watching Netflix, trying to distract myself from whatever I was subconsciously worried about that day because oftentimes I don't even know what I'm stressed out about. Cut to a few weeks later and I'm having a mental breakdown or rather a really heavy crying marathon trying to articulate why I feel this way sometimes. I have grown to accept this, in fact, I think it's healthy. I used to never cry, like ever. I'd hold everything in trying to become numb to all the pain I saw around me because I didn't know that you could see the light at the same time. I'm older and wiser now, enough to know that it's okay to cry, even in this patriarchal world we live in that celebrates toughness as a non-emotional mindset, pushing through everything that comes our way. Guess what, that's called being a psychopath and that is NOT a healthy way to go about living your life. Feelings are meant to be felt and tears are meant to be shed no matter how much it stings. I consider myself a fairly angry person, especially nowadays with everything going on politically in America. This tension builds and builds until I end up beating up my pillow or a punching bag at the gym pretending it's Trump's face and all of his lying bastards. Not even going to lie I sometimes pretend I'm racing some sexist asshole like Trump or literally isis when I'm on the elliptical or in cycling class. Yes, that is hilarious and kind of embarrassing but it's my therapy, my way of dealing with this crazy world, that and my Instagram story rants lol. So wait, where does lipstick come into this equation? To quote one of the most remarkable women to ever set foot on this planet: Coco Chanel “If you’re sad, if you are disappointed in love, put on your makeup, give yourself some beauty care, put on lipstick, and attack.” There's something about lipstick that's so symbolic to me. It's a modern-day warrior paint of sorts, everyone from drag queens to movie stars wears it and up until recently, I never touched the stuff. You see I'm a Maine girl at heart, a girl with a tomboy spirit guided by my admiration of my older brothers. I grew up suppressing my femininity. I'm no tomboy and I'm no girly girl, I'm just me, let's drop the labels. When I put on my lipstick in the morning it's like I chose to own that day. Now that I'm home for a few weeks I wear it less because I'm attempting to relax and "do nothing" so naturally, I end up writing a blog post. We don't have to win every day because life's not a competition it's a state of being in existence. There is no game to win it's just you and the choices you make. After a night of crying there's nothing like waking up the next morning to take a shower, put on a little make-up, wear a killer outfit, and walk around with a fresh pout to fit your attitude of I'm not taking shit from anybody. I'm not telling you to go out there and wear lipstick. I'm telling you to go find your own "lipstick". Is it painting your nails? Kicking a soccer ball at random people (haha don't do that)? Whatever it is, find it. Hang on to it and worship it like it's your holy grail because sometimes it will be. It's "Jesus take the wheel" for practical people.