“Omg I really admire that you dare posting a picture with no make-up on,” is one of the regular comments on fashion or beauty blogs when someone posts a “naked” picture. “Not that you need it,” they add. Not that you need it? No one needs make-up.
The make-upless profile picture
Almost a year ago, a Dutch beautyblogger called her readers to switch their profile pictures into ones without make-up, because she believed that we have nothing to be ashamed of, and that we should celebrate our “pure beauty.” I second that and I was excited about her initiative, even though I did not put up a make-upless picture myself. Hypocrite? Maybe. But I had my reasons.
I was not scared to expose my naked face. I have actually done that numerous times on my Dutch blog, and even as I am typing this I am not wearing anything (make-up, that is). I simply don’t feel like it today. I haven’t even applied a moisturising cream on my face (I don’t even have any). Most of the time I have to ask my boyfriend whether I’m wearing any make-up at all, because I just forget whether I applied it that morning. This is how important make-up is to me. Of course, I like make-up to enhance my features and I pay extra attention to it when there is an occasion that calls for such a thing – I’m a girl, after all. But I do not depend on it and I certainly do not feel that I need it.
A big deal
This is just me, though. To most girls, it is a big deal. One of my friends, for example, was worried about showing herself without make-up to the guy she liked, and asked me how I did that, considering my boyfriend and I have been living together for three years. I did not even wear make-up when we met, and neither did I when we started dating three years later. Okay, this was partly to blame to my make-up allergies so I often could not wear any, but still. He is used to my natural look (so not the so-called “natural” make-up look) and he likes me just the way I am. Me not wearing make-up is not a big deal to either of us, but it was to my friend, who still tried to figure out how she could avoid that naked situation in which she would be vulnerable and in which her insecurities would be uncovered.
I know she is not the only one, and I know this is why posting a make-upless picture is such a big deal to many girls and women. Heck, Beyoncé’s just-out-of-bed look — or actually just-woke-up-still-in-bed look — is even considered to be newsworthy! I find this phenomenon ridiculous and unnecessary, as if it is exceptional to not wear make-up and look good at the same time. The media and people make it such a big deal that it only draws attention to the supposed oddness of it, and instead of emphasising the beauty of our natural looks.
The only thing we need
We do not have to apply a layer (or two) of foundation in the perfect shade that is identical to our skin colour or use blush for rosy cheeks. We do not need eyeshadow to make our eyes sparkle. What we do need, is self-esteem to embrace our natural beauty and to let go of any “protective” layers. The only thing that protects us from vulnerability is self-confidence to live our lives the way we want to. To go outside and be who we are. Only then will we get those rosy cheeks and the sparkle in our eyes — from our natural selves, and not from make-up.