Barefaced and BeautifulOctober 19, 2010
Would you go out in public without any makeup on?
A group of girls from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas go makeup free every Tuesday. The group of 12 girls started a club called Redefining Beautiful, and they purchased a few T-shirts to wear on Tuesdays to spread their message. One of the club founders, Caroline Tessler, told StyleList, “There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup, but using it as a cover-up to hide your true beauty is something we’re trying to change.” The club has grown to almost 200 supporters since the start of the school year.
In support of the teens from Texas, my co-workers and I went makeup free last Tuesday. I was inspired by the Colleyville girls’ story and raised their issue here at AAUW. I asked my co-workers to refrain from their daily makeup routine and to come to work barefaced. I was surprised at the warm response. Twenty women co-workers (and two men!) joined me to take a group photo and show our natural beauty. Some women (including myself) even pledged to go makeup free every day, even for special occasions.
There have been a wide range of responses to the teens’ campaign, ranging from full support to questioning why teens need to wear makeup at all. Regardless, it is an important issue to raise — do women and girls feel the need to wear makeup to conform to a standard set by Hollywood and fashion magazines? If women don’t wear makeup, are they rebelling against that standard? Or are they like me, trying to save money by not spending upwards of $40 every few months on foundation?
If it is an issue of simply looking good for your partner, most men say less is more. In a study done earlier this year, one in five men say their partner wears too much makeup and one in 10 prefer women to wear no makeup at all.
Women and girls, especially teenage girls, need to feel comfortable in the skin they are in and should be able to express that in any way that fits into their lifestyle. Coming from the girl that used to put toothpaste on pimples at night to reduce redness in time for school the next day, sometimes it is OK to leave the foundation and concealer in your makeup bag and proudly face the world with a flaw, even if it is only for one day.