When we speak about war paint, I’m sure most imagine the painted face of a Native American. Well, natives aren’t the only ones who wear war paint. In fact, I painted my face this morning. It may not look to you like war paint, but let me tell you why it is. Just as war paint, in a variety of cultures began with the intention to distract/frighten ones opponents in battle, to connect the person behind the mask to their warrior spirit and to protect the warrior, women have long used their own form of war paint to do the same.
Even without knowing why we make up our faces, when we do, we feel different. Ready to face the world, ready to do battle. The makeup we use helps to disguise many things. It can help hide our insecurities, fears and vulnerability. When we get up in the mornings and dress to step out into the world, we prepare for the battles that may come our way. You’ll notice many, while at home don’t bother with makeup and fancy clothes, because that’s where we feel the most safe, but once we think about stepping outside into the world, our thoughts go to an instinctive behavior to protect ourselves the best way we can. Our choice in clothing, shoes, accessories and makeup are all a part of the ritual for protecting ourselves. So this morning, I put on my war paint. What it hides is a multitude of things. Fear of what’s to come, worry of how I’ll make it through the storm ahead of me, sadness that consumes my thoughts, stress, insecurities and much more. I stand here filled with all of those things, but my war paint is applied to help me face the day and what battles are placed before me with my warrior spirit.