“Maybe I’m Not Tired”


“Maybe I’m Not Tired”

Kathryn Hudnell

Let’s talk about the controversial area under our eyes. Our eyes are usually one of the first places we look when we first meet someone new. There’s a lot riding on that first impression, so it makes sense that people would be self-conscious about having “eye bags” or if you’re like me, dark circles. Then, there’s a whole section of the beauty industry structured around helping people disguise this insecurity. There are aisles filled with creams, makeup and serums that all claim to fix a problem I didn’t realize I had. 

When I was in high school, I was determined to keep my under-eyes concealed. First, I tried a dozen different DIY treatments in an attempt to correct the problem. When those did not work, I resorted to using concealer every day to keep them hidden. The semi-circles of purple and blue were here to stay. I realized if I really wanted to feel better about my eyes, the confidence I needed couldn’t come from an outside source.

My own dark circles are practically a part of my identity now. I’ve heard it all from “Are you sick?” to “You look really tired today” and, my personal favorite, “Have you tried getting extra sleep?”.  Each of these made me think that maybe there was something wrong with me. I wanted to make myself more invisible, but I, like everyone else, deserve to embrace the space I take up. I needed to remember that just because dark circles aren’t something that is embraced by typical beauty standards, it doesn’t mean I should be ashamed of them either. I am no longer adamant about wearing concealer everyday, and I answer the intrusive questions with a confident, “No, I’m not tired. I actually slept really well last night.” Whatever people want to say about my eyes now holds no weight over me. I would not want to be friends with the people I used to worry about impressing. If someone is worried that my dark circles are a result of stress or a cold and they offer help instead of criticism, they’re not a real friend. Any judgment should put critics in a bad light instead of others assuming I’ll take their comments as heartfelt advice.

Influencers continue to embrace truly natural beauty more and more. Christina Yannello, or @barefacedfemme on Instagram, embraces her unedited skin in each of her posts. At only 16 years old, Brooklyn Webb (@xobrooklynne) has already learned to embrace her natural self and spreads positivity to her large audience on TikTok. There has even been a TikTok trend where people deepen the color under their eyes to prove that the extra coloring is nothing that needs fixed. #nomakeup has 2.8 billion views on TikTok and nearly 20 million posts on Instagram. Each article written, video made and photo shared is another step in the direction of additional people feeling secure in their own skin. It is encouraging to think that another girl who feels insecure about something they can’t change will embrace, not hide, their perfect imperfection.