Self-care And The Seduction of Self


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”

-Audre Lorde

I recently read this quote somewhere random and it stuck in my head all of this past week. Self-care is something that I sometimes neglect. My lack of self-care is not a reflection of my self-esteem. For me, my lack of self-care is reflection of the importance I place on my own agenda in lot of ways. There are basic things that make me happy. I like the way my face looks with make-up on. I do much better when I am physically active. I blossom when I make myself a healthy meal.

Somehow, even though I know what makes me happy, I find myself cheating myself out of my self-care routine. A few weeks ago, I started massaging my feet and my joints before going to bed. A couple of weeks after starting this soothing routine, I stopped. I just do not enough place emphasis on my own self-care.

This past week, I started wearing make-up to work, again. Instead of placing emphasis on getting to work extremely early, I chose to place the emphasis on looking as I desired. Putting on make-up for me is a seduction of self. It is a moment of vanity when I look at my face and touch my face. I acknowledge my own beauty and allow myself the creativity of choosing who I want to be for the dance of the day. A bright red lipstick to make my lips look full. A girly pink for my feminine days. A smokey eye for the days when I want to catch the gaze.

Putting on┬ámake-up is one of the few times when I get to look at my body. I generally don’t dress with a mirror. I actually haven’t owned a full-length mirror in a long time. I find that I like to avoid my body in some ways. I love getting dressed in the morning. I love putting things together and playing with shapes, textures and patterns. I can tell if an outfit fits by the way my body feels in it. To look at my body however is to ask too much of my fragile self. I have learnt to engage with my body in a way that is not threatening to me. Looking at my face is one of the joys I get from a mirror though.

I was thinking about this self-care quote tonight when I decided to play around with my face. I sometimes miss the days when I used to wear a lot of color on my face to work. These days, I am firmly in the nude/brown palette phase. I am enjoying the brown/bronze/black look alot. I tend to concentrate lots of drama on my lips with bright reds and pinks in the summer. This past fall/winter I was really into plums and wines. Tonight though, I sought out my gold dust and played fairy on my face. It is a bit of a wild look but there was so much joy in playing with that face. So much joy!

Do you have a self-care routine that makes you feel your best? Let me know in the comment section.