Being from the South, I learned from an early age that you never leave the house without putting on your makeup—even if you are only going to the grocery store. My mom used to say “you never know who you are going to meet and you should always look your best,” and in the same breath would say “you are perfect they way you are.” Really? If I am perfect the way that I am, why do I have to wear makeup?
Two women from Charlotte, N.C., asked that same question. They started The Naked Face Project in which they have abandoned their beauty routines for two months to find the answer to this question: Why do they do these things anyway? They were encouraged to do this because of questions young girls posed to them, “If you tell me I’m beautiful just the way I am, why do you color your hair or wear makeup?” The women couldn’t find an answer. It’s like some unwritten rule that we as women are following. Who made these rules? Cosmetic companies. Well, I am not sure if they made the rules but they fuel our need to keep our beauty regimens.
Cosmetic companies go to great lengths to market to women. No matter where you look—online, TV, radio, magazines—there is an oversaturation of beauty tips and products that we need to look beautiful so we can get the guy or job. Companies advertise beauty products and claim that it will improve my appearance, make me attractive to the opposite sex, and promise a general lifestyle enhancement. Magazines like Redbook tells it’s readers that by using a particular perfume you will be able to “magically reel him in” or by using a particular eyeliner your eyes will “look bigger, brighter, and much sexier.” I wonder what would happen if social marketing fornatural beauty was conducted with equal enthusiasm. Would photo-shopped photos of celebrities be so prevalent? Would cosmetic companies be a multi-billion dollar industry?
The Naked Face Project has given the women in Charlotte and other participants a new appreciation for natural beauty. After abandoning their beauty routines for two months, they realized that they are the same person whether they follow those routines or not. Why? Because they appreciate who they are and found true, authentic confidence within themselves.
When we wear makeup, high heels, and color our hair, we feel good about ourselves. It gives us a sense of confidence. However, like the women in Charlotte, we need to understand that real confidence comes from within. Am I saying you have to abandon your beauty routines? No. Just don’t get so caught up with the outward appearance that you neglect what is on the inside. We are perfectly created as is!