How Snapchat helped me feel more comfortable with my face

I’m the kind of person who usually feels uncomfortable without makeup on in public. Until recently, I actually had friends who had never seen me without it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear a lot of makeup; a little foundation, eye shadow, and mascara to make me feel human. Let me say, though, I wear makeup for me, and not for other people. It makes me feel better about myself

When I first got Snapchat, I wouldn’t open new messages until I knew I could reply with a face of makeup — I didn’t want people to think I was being rude and ignoring them after opening the messages, but I hated seeing my face looking makeup-free. I felt plain and I didn’t like it. I was self-conscious of my oily skin shining in the light. I hated everything about it and it didn’t help my self-esteem issues in any way.

Then I realized that the Snapchats I was receiving were makeup-free and seemingly effortless. I was that friend who cared more about what they looked like than actually engaging with people. My vanity, in this case, was ridiculously misplaced. My friends didn’t care about how they looked, because they knew I wasn’t going to judge them for it. It didn’t make us any less friends because I’d seen them makeup-free.

I decided to take the plunge on a day when I was too lazy to put any makeup on—I had nothing to do for the whole day, so I wasn’t going to put makeup on just for Snapchat. I just went for it and, after sending a selfie or two, I realized it was no big deal. It wasn’t even mentioned that I wasn’t wearing makeup. It literally made no difference to anyone else, none whatsoever. So what was I so worried about?

There was only one person who cared about whether or not I was wearing makeup: me. I could still find flattering angles and good lighting, I could still look pretty good with no cosmetic help. It was a big realization and it changed my whole routine

On days off of school, I don’t bother with makeup any more. My friends and housemates have seen me without it. It’s still no big deal. I had truly made a mountain out of a molehill. Then on those days when I am wearing makeup, I’m wearing considerably less than I used to and it doesn’t feel any different. In fact, my bank balance probably thanks me for it!

I’m still not at the point where all my profile pictures will be makeup free and I’ve yet to upload even a single selfie to Instagram when I’m bare-faced. However it seems a lot more likely than it did before I downloaded Snapchat.

So, thank you Snapchat, for giving me a small amount of confidence to accept my face for what it is.

Sian Robinson is a British university student who spends far too much time watching American TV and rambling on about it on Twitter

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