I have almost always been confident in my skin. I cannot recall a time when I felt I had to hide myself away or been ashamed to leave the house without layers of slap on or felt the need to check my make up every few minutes in my hand mirror. On some days when I am not rushed, I wear a bit of eye-liner. On others, I don’t bother with anything. May be part of me has always known that no one really cares and that everyone is too busy wrapped up in their own selves to be honestly bothered by the state of my eyelashes. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that a) I look like a slob or b) that not wearing make up somehow elevates me to a higher plane not meant for mortals who are obsessed with their looks. I just don’t feel the need for it in the same way as I do not buy laundry softeners or read science fiction. It works for some but not for me. But when I am told that I should wear make up because it ‘hides my flaws’ or that ‘it would give me confidence’, it riles me up no end. My confidence does not come from a bottle of foundation. It does not get smeared along with blush. My confidence does not rely on water-proof mascara or the right shade of eyeshadow. I am someone who has taken her kit off along with 700 others for an art installation*. I don’t believe I have ‘flaws’ in my appearance. I have a body that I look after with regular exercise and diet. And a skin I am happy in. If it is strange to hear a woman say that, may be that is the flaw. *the above image is from the Spencer Tunick art installation at Newcastle in 2005 which I took part in. No, you cannot spot me.