Is it brave to go without make up ?


I’ve been pondering this post all day , whether to write it or not. Mostly I suppose because I know there are probably many that won’t agree with me. But I’m writing it anyway because … Well , it’s my blog.
This #nomakeupselfie thing , it’s bothered me. I am all for raising money for cancer charities (or indeed any charities) and I think raising awareness of the importance of checking yourself , knowing the symptoms is extremely important. And actually I applaud any body that has raised money but when I first became aware of the no make up thing yesterday , because my Facebook TL was flooded with selfies many of them were just that. Selfies , with no make up and no link to a charity , no words about checking yourself … Just selfies. (Many of which were accompanied by things like “here’s my ugly face with no make up “).
Mostly carefully posed in the right lighting with filters. Later in the day it seemed that people cottoned on to the idea of actually including links , text donation numbers etc and I’m aware that a whole lot of money has been raised because of this but I’m still bothered by the no make up bit of it. It bothers me that going without make up is ‘ brave ‘ , is it ? I don’t wear make up , I never have , am I brave ? No, I just can’t be arsed. I’ve got three teenage girls , do I want them to think that going without make up is brave ? That they can’t be beautiful without it ? That society almost expects them to wear make up and cover their naturally beautiful faces ? No. I don’t. I want them to value themselves as they are. They may want to wear make up , my 12 year old loves a bit of lip gloss but I want them to wear make up because they want to , when they want to and not because they feel they should.
I’m sure that the whole thing made some people donate who otherwise may not have thought to do so but I’m also sure that people would have been spurred on to donate had their timelines been flooded with cancer charity symbols , pictures showing the symptoms and how to check yourself, posts about cancer .
Raising awareness and raising money is fantastic , but overlooking the fact that a message is being sent out that it’s brave to be seen without make up , not so great.


14 responses »

  1. I think it *is* brave though: because we are made to feel that our natural faces are unsuitable. I never used to wear makeup to work, then I did once at a Christmas do and had people coming up to me effectively saying they never knew I could look so good! Talk about a backhanded compliment! Going without makeup is brave … but shouldn’t be.

  2. I totally agree with you about the mixed message that it sends out despite being one of those people that never leaves the house without it – albeit only foundation, powder and mascara. If I am honest it is my own insecurities – I just don’t like what I look like without it these days – it is my way of facing the world. I have also not joined in with this whole thing – partly because I couldn’t see what good it would do and tbh I won’t. I am happy to donate or share an infographic on how to check for breast cancer but what good would it do anyone seeing me without make up – very little I suspect!

  3. I’m not sure I think it’s “brave” either, but I have to say it’s been lovely seeing fresh faced beauty instead of loads of Towie type make up on the younger people I know. Personally I find that much nicer.

  4. I haven’t taken part in this selfie but I have donated. I wear make up every single day but have posted many bare faced selfies and would never consider a brave thing to do. Anything that raises money gets my vote though I especially like cock in a sock for the men 😉

  5. I did one – my first ever selfie and it’ll probably be my last lol I felt uncomfortable posting my scary fizzog but it was for a good cause.
    Comic relief is all about people making idiots of themselves and doing things outside of their comfort zone and I don’t see any difference here.
    I agree that some women didn’t grasp the concept but I was more bothered with the attitude of some Twitterers towards it.
    Of course it’s not brave but for a lot of women who wear make up every day (me included) it was outside of their comfort zone. Silly, maybe but that’s the way it is. But the bottom line is that the trend has raised over a million quid. That’s gotta be good. x

  6. I agree with you 100%. I barely use make-up…only foundation. But my 6 year old daughter is obsessed with the idea of make-up and can’t wait to be allowed to wear it! I find that shocking and pretty scary. Why is it that girls feel the need to wear make-up? I wish women felt happy to go make-up less every day!!

  7. I agree with you completely. It does seem that a lot of people have done it as its the “trend” and haven’t really taken note of why and seen the bigger picture. But yes there are other braver things to do but for a lot of people make up is like a mask and they feel different with it on. I do feel more confident when I have it on but there are many days that make up is at the bottom of my to do list x #blogclub

  8. I took part, although I did think twice about whether to post a picture of myself – like you, I was uncomfortable with the whole notion of it being a ‘brave’ thing to do. I wear make-up most days, and feel a bit ‘undressed’ without it, but I know that’s more inside my own head than in anyone’s perceptions of me. I do think it’s interesting, though, that all this debate is raising even more awareness of breast cancer. I wonder whether they deliberately chose something controversial to get everyone talking about it even more?

  9. What I find most interesting about this is that it wasn’t Cancer Research who initiated it; it goes to show (once again) the power of social media.

    Like Nell, I feel “undressed” without make up, I am rarely seen without it and I have never done a selfie. Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “brave” of me to post a selfie (and I included the text donate number, plus previously shared info on how to check yourself) it did take a LOT for me to do it. I have mostly seen chat around how lovely it is to see fresh faced young women.

    I disagree with you in the sense of what message you think it’s sending out; I think it’s sending out a good message about how make up is really our own protection rather than needed for others to think we look nice.

    Good post! x

  10. Great post. I do think, we, not just you I hasten to add, overthink things. I think it was just encouraging people to show their face without make up. I couldn’t see any message. It did highlight how some people feel about wearing make up though which was interesting.

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