My mother and my sister are some fancy fashionistas, according to me at least–and then there’s me.
“Even if someone gave me a lot of money, I still would not dress like you,” my mom joked with me in Bengali.
I love sweatpants. And sweatshirts. And jeans with t-shirts. But I prefer sweats, because #comfortoverstyle. My mom and my sister love to make fun of my fashion choices, especially when I am at home from school. To be honest, I have less motivation to dress up when I am at home from school, because it’s not like I’m going to be seen in a place with expectations from me on how to dress up. I still dress up to make myself feel good, even if I am not seeing anyone on a given day–I still want to dress up in a way to make me feel good about myself, for myself. And I feel pretty sexy in sweats, regardless of what others may think.
When I am at college and am in front of people, I still wear sweats–but significantly less often. To make myself more presentable, I’ll wear jeans or leggings–but the biggest thing for me is that they have to be comfortable. I am not going to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans, or “jeggings,” that make the lower half of my body look incredible but make my legs feel like they’re being squeezed inside out. I’d rather opt for a pair that may not make me look as good, but are at least tolerable for to me wear all day–especially if I’m going to be a productive college student in them. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to do readings and write essays for classes, and to take part in extracurricular activities, as much as I value and enjoy them, and I’d rather not have part of my energy go to waste in suffering over my clothing choices.
Before going to a dawat, or a dinner or party hosted by a Bengali family or other kind of desi family friend, my mom and sister take a few hours to expertly doll up their faces with various types of makeup alongside dressing up in eye-catching, fashionable clothes. I, on the other hand, am a total beginner and less-than-amateur amateur at makeup. I’m someone who prefers not to wear makeup, except on rare occasions–and I mean, on really rare occasions. I just don’t like the feel of having paste on my face, especially if all that makeup is meant to alter my appearance. I am totally against contouring and making my eyelashes look longer than they already are, because I feel like that is changing my natural beauty–something I value and appreciate and refuse to let society and the beauty industry suggest or say otherwise with their implications that my features are not good enough and must be changed. I do like the look of certain styles of eyeliner and lip coloring, but only if it is meant to complement my appearance and not change it. But most and nearly all of the time, I love to don my natural, makeup free face. I’m even debating going fully natural at my wedding, whenever or if-ever that will take place, which would be a big no-no and incite collective gasps from aunties of the desi community. The only exception I might have to that is maybe adding some gold eyeliner and red lipstick–pieces of makeup that are complementary rather than transformative or face-altering, according to my humble perceptions and opinion. But the no-makeup-at-all look is still on the table for me.