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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Musings on Makeup by a Li’l White Gal

I have been thinking a lot about makeup. My host sisters were sweet enough that one day they took me to the beauty parlor, to get my eyebrows threaded. The woman who did my eyebrows sculpted them to perfection. I was  very excited to show off my new eyebrows. But, here is the thing I am a natural blonde, which means my eyebrows have a tendency to blend into my skin. At first I thought about going out and buying an eyebrow gel that would darken them and show off the threading work. I quickly came to the realization that there is no gel or pomade that would work with my hair color because it is a minority color in Nepal. At first I was disappointed, but it really doesn’t matter because in two months I will fly to the comfort of my own home and fill in my eyebrows to my heart’s desire.  My sisters and I started to talk about different make up companies in the the United States. The subject quickly went to Rihanna’s new makeup line, Fenty Beauty, that was released in late 2017. It quickly became popular because it had a wider range of color foundations so that now more women had access to makeup. Before Fenty I had never really thought about not having accesses to make up, because I am the whitest of the whites. Even after Fenty came out I didn’t think about not having accesses to makeup because it still had no effect on my day to day life, until now. Makeup has played a very significant role in life. It has allowed me to express myself and it has shielded  me from my own self loathing. I don’t have access to something that has played such a significant role in my life. Thinking how slightly annoyed I was for not having make up for two months made me realize the anger I would feel if I never had access to any makeup that fit my skintone. Having to see all of these other women who could wear make up their skin is consider the norm and mine is not, would destroy me. Because not only would I not have any makeup I would, but I would be upset that no one cared enough to change it. As one of my Favorite writers Claire Vaye Waktins once said, “My whiteness materialized in front of me.” This rant is not to say that I finally understand what it is like to be a minority, because that is not true I will never understand. However I should understand that my whiteness is a protective layer. It allows me to stay in my comfort that keeps me safe from all of the other issues that the majority of the world live with on a daily basis. In this dragon trip we have  talked a lot about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, and for everyone that will look differently. Nepal has given me something special. It is pushing me out of my ignorance. I know I will never know what it is like to not have my skin. That is fine because I do not want to have false knowledge. The process of widening my perspective will be a long and difficult one, and I am thankful for Nepal for giving me that.