A few weeks ago I took a trip to the local CVS.
My makeup stock needed some replenishing, and though I craved a purge of Sephora's shelves, my budget didn't allow for such an idea.
I walked in and spent over 20 minutes comparing brands and brushes and styles and labels, delighting in the variety available.
Cosmetics are my weakness. Always has been, ever since I got my makeup done for my eighth grade yearbook.
I remember looking in the mirror and feeling this wonderful thrill that I had been given a chance at beauty.
And I'm still enamored by makeup's magic when it smooths out and enhances even my face.
Which is why I keep coming back.
Finally, after making excruciatingly difficult decisions of what to take with me and what to leave behind, I took my finds to the counter.
And then I met him.
The cashier, that is.
And he told me something that still sticks with me now, weeks later.
"Makeup? Why you buying makeup?"
I shrugged helplessly. It's a girl thing, isn't it?
But he looked me in the eye and said,
"You don't need no makeup. You look great without it."
I was, in fact, extremely self conscious of the fact that my face was bare from any enhancement. And this random, kind person is telling me the world found me acceptable.
"All these girls just got to go natural. You look good natural. Every girl is beautiful."
Every girl is beautiful. Soothing salve for a girl who struggles with day to day body image issues. Every girl is beautiful.
Weeks later I still remember him. His incredulity at my purchases. His gentle smile. His sweet words spoken earnestly.
I left the store feeling strangely elated. And he will never know the difference he made in my day and days to come when I look in the mirror and learn to like what I see there.
Be kind. Your words can uplift and stay with a person for a long time.
Thank you, nameless CVS cashier.