Last year I had an adventure of sorts – an internal adventure. I survived one whole month without a smudge or spot of make-up.
Going without cosmetics for a month was a true challenge for me. This career-girl turned new mum, who was so accustomed to dressing up at the start of every day, now had a 5 minute void in front of the mirror every morning! Don’t get me wrong, I was never a big makeup wearer… just a little concealer, lip balm and mascara – but I certainly had to have my fix, my ‘preparation for the day’, my natural image unnaturally adjusted, to help me feel worthy of being a decent person and maintaining respect from my peers.
I loved my month of freedom!
Forcing myself to dress and leave the house with a different routine and using different techniques in presentation (different clothes and jewellery, for example), gave me opportunities to think and change habits for the better. I learned things about myself that I never would have had the chance to, had I carried on normally, wearing make-up, that month.
What happened to me?
I felt emotions, delved into my insecurities and inner beliefs, and had the chance to explore and change the respect I had for myself and my own identity. I had some very helpful and interesting conversations with friends and strangers. I also had a chance to see my true reflection and how damaged my body and skin had become from concealer and chemicals that I’d used in the past. I then saw my skin, teeth and eyes improve when I used alternative natural methods, and I had a great time trying natural home-made remedies, like essential oils and aloe-vera. It was a journey that I could only go on with myself, and the lessons were personal. I urge you to take yourself on this journey, too.
Some common reasons we wear make-up everyday are:
– to show that we take pride in our appearance
– to transform our identity
– to cover up scarring and imperfections
– to meet social expectations for tidy and attractive womanly style
– to look healthier than we actually are
-… (Feel free to comment below if you think of a different reason)
Don’t you agree that it’s ODD that women are taught to take pride in their appearance, and feel socially accepted, only AFTER they have decorated themselves and covered up their authentic image? Surely taking pride in our appearance means we can say, ‘I love me and I love who I am’, with or without make-up?
If like me, you have ever felt you “have to” cover up your skin, can I ask you gently what else are you in the habit of covering up, in order to be socially accepted? Are we being honest with ourselves? Physically, emotionally, spiritually, what can a daily make-up habit tell us about who we are and how we feel about ourselves? (Or maybe it’s just me who has deep and dark secrets to cover up, hey 🙂
As a side-note, if you search ‘No make-up’ in Google, you will be shocked at how we are taught to ridicule authentic image. Look at all the stories about celebrities. This kind of ridicule causes insecurity for women everywhere. As usual, the media has a lot to answer for.
Makeup-free May has arrived!
By the 20th day of this month, once again, I will have ditched the cosmetics to opt for the ultimate natural alternative – raw skin. Will you join me?
Those who do will not be not only liberating themselves, but giving others permission to do so. It’s a truly positive experience and the further this reaches the better. Collectively we will be improving self-worth of women and encouraging that we take pride in our true, perhaps fragile, but always unique and very special identities.
I am starting straight away.
First, I need to reverse the damage that wearing concealer (albeit a mineral healthy product) and not eating skin-nourishing foods has done to me in the last few months. My skin is terrible right now. Everyday from now, I’ll be having 2 fresh juices or smoothies per day (parsley and kale especially), cutting those last remaining toxins and refined sugars out of my diet (hello chia seeds and fresh vegetables), and asking myself what it is about my image that I’m struggling with right now (a daily meditation practice helps me find clarity and answers).
If you’re in Brisbane on the 17th May, make sure to come to HAPPY IS HEALTHY Day, where I will have a stall with books/DVDS and other good things to inspire, motivate and support you in pro-active wellness, including a DVD talking about image and skin wellness specifically. I’ll be presenting at 11am, and there’ll be dozens of other guest speakers and stalls with powerful, transformational mind/body wellness information to share. To find me, look for the stand called POSITIVE, HEALTHY, NATURALLY.
Let me know if you will join Makeup-Free May by replying to this thread or comment on the Facebook page. Up to and during this period, make sure you promote to your friends and family and colleagues that you are going without cosmetics for a GOOD CAUSE – to generate support for healthy skin, healthy body image and healthy minds. And invite as many people as you can to join in!
Have fun with it… I know I did last year and I will again this year. It’s a time to get creative with natural appearance and feel proud of your true self, and to see just how radiant you can be with healthy mind and diet too.
And if you’re feeling really brave, take a really raw selfie now so you have BEFORE and AFTER photos. I can guarantee the AFTER shots will be so much better, even if it’s just because of the way you feel.
Joanna Becker, Author and Wellness Medium