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August 8, 2014 at 1:22 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Caked with Confidence: Celebrating Natural Beauty

By Becky from SLN More Blogs by This Author

I’ve never been one for following trends. I’m hesitant and reluctant to jump on fad band wagons. In fact, I refused to read The Hunger Games for this very reason. I didn’t want to conform.

And yet, here I am, promoting a trend. Why? Because this is something I feel passionate about. This is a band wagon that I can jump on with confidence. Not only that, but I will push this wagon if and when it runs out of fuel.

What is this wagon? you ask.

It’s the raw beauty trend — the #nomakeupselfiesthat are becoming more and more abundant on Twitter and Instagram. The wagon is filling up with young women who are bold enough to post pictures of their natural faces to social media, women who are gaining confidence in themselves without layers of makeup. To these women, I say kudos.

You might see their tired eyes, freckles, blemishes, acne. I see tenacity, freedom, boldness, authenticity. I see beauty.

I’m not so naive to believe that all the young women in these snapshots are completely confident in their own skin. Some might have run out of time to meticulously apply their makeup, others might be secretly looking for compliments. Nevertheless, I’m proud of them.

I root for girls like 20-year-old Annie Garau who challenge the belief that women need makeup to feel valuable. I applaud women like Leandra Medine who are comfortable with how they look, even if others don’t agree. I commend women like Molly Barker and Caitlin Boyle, who tackled the Naked Face Project in order to live out authentic beauty and challenge our country’s “confidence crisis.” These women do not hate their reflections in the mirror, but have come to accept the perks and flaws.

Why the cheering for these bare-faced women?

Because one in three women admit that they refuse to leave the house without makeup on.
80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty.
72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful.
44% of women feel unattractive without makeup.
Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004).

I support this raw beauty trend because I believe that there is something very wrong with a culture so wrapped up in an unattainable ideology that we’re willing to sacrifice the health and lives of millions for the sake of “perfect” appearances.

This fight is for the preteen girls who feel the need to post “Am I Pretty?” videos to YouTube, the high school girls swallowed by insecurity in their appearances, the college girls struggling with depression and self-harm due to these insecurities, the young women with identities built around a perfectly made-up face, the middle-aged women trying so desperately to cover their wrinkles and age. This fight is for the women who loathe their #nomakeupselfie, the women who lack the confidence and freedom to be themselves, the women who feel the need to plaster on makeup in order to be beautiful.
Let me be clear: I don’t hate makeup and certainly do not think less of anyone who wears it, but it’s high time we stop requiring makeup in the beauty equation. Natural is beautiful, no makeup necessary.

The Renfrew Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization advancing the education, prevention, research, and treatment of eating disorders, recently conducted a study examining dependency on products for self esteem. The study reports that 16% of the women polled feel unattractive when not wearing cosmetics, 14% feel naked without makeup, and 25% have worn makeup since they were 13 or younger.

“Wearing makeup to enhance one’s appearance is normal in our society and often a rite of passage for young women,” says Adrienne Ressler, Renfrew Center’s national training director. “There is concern, however, when makeup no longer becomes a tool for enhancement but, rather, a security blanket that conceals negative feelings about one’s self-image and self-esteem.”

Impressionable 9-year-old girls should not feel that they need to put on makeup to be beautiful. 19-year-olds and 39-year-olds should not feel this way either. No one should feel this way. There should be no shame in natural beauty, no decrease in self worth when foundation and eyeliner are set aside.

So, what do we do?

Never buy into the lie that beauty only comes with makeup.

“A smile is the best makeup a girl can wear.” —Marilyn Monroe

Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful. Don’t just say it; believe it. Put a sticky note there to remind yourself every morning. Spread the love and sticky notes to instill confidence in others.

“When women are constantly judging ourselves and each other solely on our appearance, how can we expect men not to? When women repeatedly look in the mirror and tell themselves that they are not good enough, how can we gain the confidence needed to become senators and CEOs?” —Annie Garau

Remember that physical appearance is not identity. Appreciate beautiful qualities in yourself and others: friendliness, compassion, discipline, courage, sincerity, optimism, spontaneity, etc.

“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” Scott Westerfeld

Be true to yourself. Maybe this means dabbing on some makeup here and there, maybe it’s being bare-faced 24/7, 365 days a year. Make your own decisions; don’t let others dictate your life for you.

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women, too.” —Miranda Kerr

Let joy line your eyes, laughter color your cheeks, and a smile coat your lips.

Be confident. You’re beautiful.

Sources:

beautyhigh.com: 12 Surprising Statistics About the Beauty Industry

beutifulmagazine.com: 44% Of Women Are Dependent On Cosmetics For Self Esteem

dove.us: Surprising Self-Esteem Statistics

goodreads.com: Quotes About Beauty

Photo credit:

CedesBenz@flickr

Doug@flickr

JessicaRabbit@flickr

Kendra@flickr

Malloreigh@flickr

Michela@flickr

MissNixie@flickr

StanislavYaremenko@flickr

urs/uladee@flickr

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1 Comment

  • Beauty is skin deep, what is on the inside is seen on the outside.

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