“Being natural is incredibly empowering for women because it’s just who you are.  You’re embracing all the beautiful things about you from your head to your toes.  Because when you mask so much of your natural beauty, people don’t get to see that.” ~ Rozondo Thomas

We’ve heard about “body shaming” – that phenomena that real women get when their bodies don’t measure up to the model thin “perfection” that isn’t truly real, but tweaked and edited and photo-shopped to look like the finished product we see on the commercials and print ads.

But now . . .

NOW we have “face shaming” for lack of a better term.  The gamut of makeup that not only includes foundation and concealer, but now highlighter and contouring powder and color correcting cream and on and on and on.  My teen daughter spends more time on her face than I do.

Does the make-up contouring diagram below resemble an African mask to anyone besides me. (And no, I’m not picking on Africans or their masks, they are beautiful pieces of art, but I don’t want to resemble one when I go out!)

Make-up was meant to accentuate and enhance a woman’s appearance, not cover and blur the line of distinction between reality and societal expectations.  Pile on the make-up and then add in the filters available on the camera apps and the finished product resembles nothing even remotely similar to the person underneath and behind all that stuff.  And the false eyelashes? What is up with wearing eyelashes that are so obviously full and fake that you could use them to scrub the tub?  Ridiculousness, that’s what it is.

It’s one thing if it’s a professional photo shoot or a public appearance where there will be bright lights which can drain the color from anyone.  Even a public performance on a stage which is several feet from the audience, the make-up must be bolder to visualize the face of the performer.  Everyday wear though? No.

I know of a woman who posted pictures of herself on social media, including a dating website, that had been “enhanced” with filters.  When the gentleman she met online arrived, she opened the door to greet him.  He took one look at her and stated, “You don’t look like your pictures.”  After a few minutes conversation, he left.  Should he have given her the benefit of the doubt and gotten to know her?  Maybe.  At the same time, he may have felt like he had been a victim of false advertising.

Fortunately, a few celebrities have started wearing less make-up and asserting their natural beauty, even on the red carpet and in public photos.  Big names: Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Natalia Vodianova, Heidi Klum,  and Jennifer Lawrence to name a few.  I know the make-up industry wants to make money, but puhleaase . . . can we assure our daughters that they are beautiful and can you just look in the mirror tomorrow morning and tell yourself, “YOU are beautiful!”


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