“Put your makeup on. Get your nails done. Curl your hair. Run the extra mile. Keep it slim so they like you. Do you like you?” – Try by Colbie Caillat
Ladies, take a second and really ask yourself that last question, do you like you? Women, across time and across cultures, have been held to certain standards of beauty. For most of the 1900s, western women were encouraged to gain extra pounds to be beautiful. Today it is quite the opposite. Now, society encourages women to be thin and go to extremes to lose weight. Our social expectations of beauty may vary over time, but there is one constant message, women need to change themselves to fit “the norm.”
Almost all commercials featuring women these days are advertising makeup to “cover those spots” or “erase your flaws.” There’s nothing wrong with women trying to feel beautiful, but when did natural beauty lose its power? To me, natural beauty has less to do with a lack of makeup and more to do with how we feel without it. Natural beauty doesn’t mean a woman should never wear makeup, it means she shouldn’t depend on it to make her feel beautiful.
When I was in my early teens I could not wait to start wearing concealer to cover my acne, mascara to do anything to my boring brown eyes, and blush to bring color to my pale face. I thought make-up would change everything about me. I thought it would shift the way I felt about myself and the way people looked at me. It wasn’t just make-up though, I wanted to fit into the smallest jeans. I felt like I needed to wear designer clothes. I wanted to change everything and become someone else and someone society would consider more attractive.
These same thoughts have followed me for years. Yet things change a month ago when I saw my reflection in a mirror. It felt like the world stopped for just a second, time stood still so I could look a little longer and a little harder. I wasn’t wearing any makeup and my hair was up in a messy bun, but I saw myself differently. For the first time, probably ever in my life, I saw my beauty. I saw my brown eyes as anything but boring and my skin tone as lovely. Without the pounds of concealer, mascara, and red lipstick, I saw stunning young woman.
Why is it that we sell ourselves short because some commercials tell us hide our flaws with this concealer or try this miracle weight loss supplement? We are beautiful beings and too strong to let societal standards of beauty control the way we perceive ourselves. So I challenge all of the beautiful women, that means all of YOU, to go a day without makeup. Show the world your natural beauty. Show yourself that your natural beauty – your skin, your eyes, your smile, your weight, and your body shape – are all truly beautiful.