I am so over the make-up free selfie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for raising awareness and making money for charity so don’t think I am Scrooge-like in my disdain. No, what I hate is the fact that a) the only way we can successfully campaign is with our looks and b) the fact that women putting pictures of their make up free mugs on-line are considered ‘brave’ and ‘daring.’

It says a lot about society and the way in which we view women. A lot of the selfie’s I’ve seen have been captioned with things like ‘looking hideous’ and ‘sorry to do this to you, lolzzz’ etc As if we are somehow ashamed of our bare faced beauty. As if we shouldn’t be seen in ‘public’ ( the net is the new outside, no?) without mascara and concealer. The pressure to constantly be on, and look good is exhausting. There is this notion that women going make up free are ‘brave’ for doing so. That posting these pictures is akin to scaling Everest or wrestling wild bears. It’s not brave – what is brave is not bowing to pressure or not conforming to societal expectations in the first place but that is nigh on impossible in today’s media saturated, consumer driven world. The message it sends to women though is damaging. This whole fad is screaming ‘you need make up’ ‘this isn’t the norm’ ‘your make up free face is wrong and something to be embarrassed by for a short while’ How is that healthy?

Articles captioned ‘stars who aren’t afraid to go bare’ and ‘brave celebs join the campaign’ are rife, loaded with the message that facing the world foundation free is something to be feared, something for those fearless femmes that ‘dare to bare.’  It hurts me to think that young girls will see this drama and think that wearing slap is a requisite to leaving the house. Or that, no matter their successes in life,  it’s all moot if they don’t have lipstick on whilst doing it

It’s everywhere – when I don’t wear make up, friends ask me if I am ok. When I fancy a natural look, I get asked if I’m ill. Make up is such a daily part of our routine that not putting on mascara is as ludicrous a suggestion as not putting on my knickers. And yet, who can blame us for thinking that we need it when every other page in a magazine is an advert for make up and our favourite programmes are broken up with ads for new blushers and eyeliners. My hate comes from the fact that make up free selfies have reached millions. It has been a successful campaign with millions raised – high five to that and all – but. But. Why does it come down to the way a woman looks AGAIN? Why is it that the only way women can get ahead is with their faces and not their brains/actions. It’s hideous. Men can land on the moon and run countries but it’s ok! Us gals can go make up free! What a skill!

Finally, I hate the faux self deprecation that comes with posting a make up free selfie online. The desperation for validation and reassurance that you are enough. That you are pretty. A better caption would be ‘please love me enough to make up for the fact that I don’t love me enough.’ That is the saddest thing of all I think. That underneath the bravado and put downs, we are all just a bit lost, a bit vulnerable and in need of a group hug. We need to stop posting make up free selfies and start posting big middle fingers up to a society that leaves us so fucking damaged that the ‘bravest’ thing a woman can do is forgo the fake tan for a quick Facebook snap.


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Category: Discussion, Feminism, My Thoughts
  • Simone Roberts

    I couldn’t agree more!