Why I live-tweeted my beauty routine before a wedding

Last weekend, I attended a conservative wedding in small town South Dakota. My partner was a groomsmen and was required to attend other wedding party-related activities (taking pictures and such) for the entire afternoon prior to the ceremony/reception. For the first time on the trip, we were separated. Likewise, this gave me some extra time for my beauty routine, which I rarely ever practice.

Months ahead of the wedding, I realized my discount H&M dresses were a little too short. Luckily, I snagged an awesome A-line dress for sale online. Admittedly, I would’ve bought a new dress for the occasion, but I can’t remember shopping for something knee-length since middle school.

As I got ready that day, this kind of adjustment made me hyperconscious to my decisions regarding my appearance. Is this black eyeliner “too much”? How can I tuck my bra strap in, so it doesn’t slip out? I’m an intersectional feminist against slut-shaming, so I understood the cognitive dissonance going on in my head. I never want to give in to traditional beauty standards of how a woman should look, but I was in a new place. I knew a handful of people there, most simply as acquaintances.

I already felt isolated being an outsider, let alone from the East Coast, so I shared my routine live with my social media following for support. I felt I didn’t fit in. As an eating disorder survivor, I’ve also struggled with body image, which made policing my appearance that day even more triggering.

I own a fair amount of makeup, but I only wear it on special occasions. If I weren’t pressured, I could’ve neglected make-up altogether. That’s why I was barely prepared for a beauty routine. I started with my eyebrows, when I realized I forgot a tweezer. I used nail clippers instead. false

I’m known to be resourceful, but even I thought this was ridiculous. A friend, also on her way to a wedding, thanked me for tip; she forgot tweezers, too. I forgot a make-up brush as well, so I applied bronzer with a tissue. false

To help get myself excited, I was getting ready in my favorite black dress. If it were up to me, I would’ve worn that instead. I also mentioned how I’d prefer wearing black lip matte. While some followers encouraged me to go for it, I knew I couldn’t. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be acceptable here. I imagine other attendees would be afraid to talk to me, and if they did, they’d vocalized their disapproval. I ended up with a bright pink shade. false false false

While I survived the wedding (with a bottle of champagne), I couldn’t have done it without expressing myself over social media. I’m so grateful for the supportive network I have on Twitter. false

Even when I feel alone, away from what I’m used to in the Midwest, I will always have a forum to openly vocalize my thoughts and feelings.

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