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I really meant it when I said I didn’t need any assistance.
When you asked what I wanted anyway and I said “something that smells good,” I meant that too. My nose can scope that out just fine on its own.
And when you told me “that’s not how this works” and said I “needed the right product for my skin,” you became more than just annoying. By trying to convince me that my skin was a problem to be fixed, you were subtly shaming me.
You told me I needed either a face wash for dry skin to make it more moist, a face wash for oily skin to make it less pimply, or a wash for neutral skin (which could deteriorate any minute!) because that’s the kind you find superior. In other words, you told me to conform.
I didn’t come here to discover what’s wrong with me so I can make myself more conventionally attractive.
I didn’t come here for someone to tell me I have dry patches or acne or whatever you perceive as conventionally unattractive.
I came here because it’s my birthday and I want to celebrate with something nice-smelling on my face.
I came here because I feel like sitting on my couch smelling sugar and feeling a pleasantly cold sensation on my face because I deserve it, dammit, no matter what kind of skin I have.
You don’t need to convince me that my trip here was necessary. If Lush shopping trips were born from necessity, you would not be selling lip scrub and bath bombs. I don’t need any of these things to be beautiful or healthy, but don’t worry, I’ll still buy them.
So please stop trying to tell me I need anything on your shelves. They don’t have to be necessary to be worth my money. I deserve fun things just because I want them.
I’m sorry if it came off blunt when I repeated that I really didn’t need your assistance. But I’m not sorry I ignored your recommendations and put face wash for dry skin on my oily skin.
Why? Because it’s made of goddamn popcorn. Because I loved the smell so much I put a clump on my nose when I got home and walked around with it on until my boyfriend called me “popcorn nose.” Who are you to tell me I have to skip out on that fun for some seaweed shit?
I’m not sorry I got a face mask without even knowing what it was for. I just know it smelled like chocolate, which made working from home all the more pleasant. That’s what face masks are “for” to me.
So, maybe I’ll have another pimple on my face as a result of these purchases. Or two or three or even four.
Then what? My life will go on as usual. I’ll continue to kick ass, with one or two or three or four more witnesses to my ass-kicking antics.
Look — if someone comes in looking for a way to curb their acne or moisturize their dry skin, go ahead. Do your job.
But if someone tells you they just want something that smells good, humor them and give them the name of your best-smelling product.
Because maybe, just maybe, their face is good enough as it is.
Suzannah Weiss is a freelance writer and editor who currently serves as Weekend Editor for Teen Vogue, a daily news writer for Glamour and Refinery29, and a features writer for Bustle, Vice, Elle, The Washington Post, Everyday Feminism, Self, and more. Whoopi Goldberg once cited one of her articles on The View in a debate over whether asking for what you want in bed is a feminist act. (She thinks it is.)