One of the disadvantages of aspergers is that you struggle doing daily tasks that normal people do without thinking. Brushing my teeth, taking a shower, combing my hair – all of these activities take dedication and a good memory. Whereas most girls fuss about waking up on time to get ready, I can throw on clothes and walk out the door fairly quickly.
This is both a blessing and a curse. When I watch my sisters or others prepare in the morning, anxiety and shame fills me. How many times are you supposed to wash your face? Does every eyebrow hair need to be plucked or trimmed? What order does one put on the different parts of makeup? Are you supposed to curl or straighten your hair each day?
When people tell me that I look beautiful, they must be lying. That is my thought. After all, I only put on a thin layer of mascara (if I remember) and throw my hair into a sloppy bun or pony tail. Every woman around me seems to paint her face like a blank canvas that needs to be filled with color. My pasty features must look ridiculous. These thoughts encourage my eating disorder, depression, and sense of worthlessness.
Currently, I am doing makeup and hair for a play at school. Going into this activity seemed fun and harmless. Quickly, however, it took a negative tone as I watched the actresses highlighting every little feature on their face while erasing the small flaws. Even when they enter the room, the girls in the production touch up their faces with such precision. Compared to them, I look like a ghost who is floating through the theater department hoping to be noticed.
Now, I know that comparison is a dangerous thing. Yet, this pit is so simple to fall into especially when you are surrounded by people similar in age and interests. Plus, one tactic that I have for trying to be socially appropriate has been observing others and over-analyzing situations. With autism, reading others and knowing how to respond is stressful and nearly impossible at times. By comparing myself to others, I can guess how to react.
Thus, I watching the makeup habits of other girls so that I can learn how to do my own. Putting on makeup is something that I really hate. However, it seems to be daily task that is necessary for females. Being in this play has made me wonder if I should begin to apply more makeup. Perhaps I can experiment with it over spring break and look at it like a game or creative experience instead of a chore.
So, I would like to know your thoughts. How much makeup should women wear? It would be wonderful to hear from men and women. Also if you have aspergers or autism, do you struggle with this area? If so, how do you deal with it?