Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am by no means super-girlie. Don’t get me wrong, I like looking nice with coordinated clothes, but I have no use for makeup and brand names by themselves generally annoy me (with the exception of sneakers).

Does this have to do with my blindness? I don’t know. I know many visually impaired women who love nothing better than to spend a day at the mall running around different clothing stores and trying out makeup. What I have noticed is that most of them have considerably more vision than me. Many sighted friends and relatives have told me that if I could just see how makeup can enhance my appearance, then I would probably enjoy fashion and makeup for their own sakes. Whether this makes a difference, or if this is simply a quirk of my
personality, I doubt I’ll ever know.

I do enjoy the occasional trip to the mall, browsing, what have you, but since my eyes don’t catch the displays in the stores, it’s a matter of feeling clothes to find what I like. It doesn’t matter how good something looks; if I hate the fabric, all bets are off. This has resulted in a wardrobe consisting of mainly neutral coloured pants/skirts with some more brightly-coloured tops. I love denim, especially stretchy denim, knit tops, cotton or stretchy shirts – anything with buttons on the cuffs – and long skirts. My shoes are almost always black or navy, if for no other reason than they go with everything.

Makeup? Yeeeeeeech! I have worn makeup several times in my life, and with the exception of some blush and lipstick, it feels really thick and cakey to me. Nothing near my eyes, thank you very much; you can have all the eyeshadow in the world.

I have spoken to several other visually impaired women over the years about this, both those who enjoy makeup and fashion and other girlie things and those who don’t. Thankfully this does not seem to be as divisive an issue as choices in technology, employment, or education in the “blind community”. If only we could all take a page out of this book and accept each others’ personal choices so easily.