(My apologies in advance for what may be a somewhat feminist rant. Hopefully I can weave a communications/branding message in here.)
The past few days have seen my Facebook page sprinkled girls posting selfies with absolutely no makeup on (or so they say). I think it’s supposed to be something about not being afraid to show your true self or something like that. I have not been tagged to partake in this “challenge.”
Why? Because I barely wear any makeup. Some BB cream, mascara and a little powder. And depending on the day, maybe a little coloured lip balm. Most of the photos (selfies or otherwise) that can be found online show me wearing very little or no makeup. Why? Because I don’t have anything to hide. Sure I get zits and dark circles under my eyes. I know my skin is not perfect, but at 33, I accept it (and because what I put on my face will probably make me break out more!).
As women, who are striving to make a place for ourselves in the world (both corporate and general), who are trying to make a difference, what are we saying about our personal brand if we have to slather on creams and potions every day before we step outside? Why are we so afraid to go to the grocery store with nothing on our faces or our hair perfectly primped? Why is it so shocking when a magazine publishes photos of their models or celebrities with no makeup on? Why can’t women just be comfortable in their own, natural skin? What are we hiding? What does our outward image and brand say about us on the inside?
Is this Facebook trend really a “challenge” for some people? I could say a lot about selfies being some of the most unflattering photos anyway, but what is this challenge proving to ourselves or our friends who see the photos? What message are we sending to the men in our lives? That what they see is not really us? And don’t even get me started on the message we are sending to young girls about the need to hide behind a mask all of the time…
My friends, let’s go beyond the Facebook challenge. Let’s not be afraid to walk to the store without any makeup on. Heck, let’s not be afraid to walk to the store and leave the car at home for once (sorry, different rant). Let’s stop piling on the creams and lotions and tonics, and stop pumping your face and lips full of chemicals.
Let’s just be ourselves.
Let’s embrace our natural beauty.
Let’s stop hiding behind makeup and labels and fancy cars and 20 dollar martinis. Stop putting makeup on before you go to the gym. Stop getting up early when a guy stays over so you can put your makeup on.
That is your new challenge. Will you accept it?