TV presenter Fearne Cotton racked up over 30k likes and 600 comments when she posted a selfie without make up. She was fed up with social media glorifying people's filtered and edited version of life online, while also desperately searching for their 'flaws' outside of this facade. The post was awash with support and people commending her for being so brave.
On the surface, it was a bold move to step away from the polished TV image she conveys. However, with many women around the world fighting for basic rights, should we really find a celebrity not wearing make up so courageous?
Most of us agree that all women are beautiful in their own way, yet these very same women are also fiercely critical of their own looks. Confidence plays a huge part in feeling attractive both in yourself and to others, and for many women, this confidence is boosted with a full face of make up. What's wrong with that? Surely it's just the societal norm these days? This does seem to be the case and yet, is part of this based on the pressure of conforming to expectations?
Women are advised to wear make up to 'make the best of themselves', which indicates that without it, they're worth less. I've read articles in the past about girls who set their alarms early to get up and 'put their face on', then climb back into bed before their other half wakes up. They can't bear to be seen as they are, but instead strive for the perfect 'I woke up like this' face. There are women who won't answer the door to the postman or pop to the shop for milk unless they're completely made up.
A particular pet hate of mine are some of the gym bunnies in make up. They're either spending so much time walking slowly on a treadmill so that they don't break a sweat, in case they look anything less than perfect. Or, they are working out properly and have make up sliding off their faces. No one needs that kind of distraction when they're in the fitness zone.
When it comes to foundation, the one thing most women seem to have in common is that they don't choose a true match to their skin tone. Some have the obvious orange line around the jaw where it hasn't been blended, others cake it on thickly to hide imperfections, which only serves to highlight them.
I don't see the beauty in wearing what is often an obvious 'mask'. I also enjoy the feeling of my skin being able to breathe, instead of being caked in chemicals that need to be reapplied throughout the day. It may be that the make up helps to protect the skin in some way from various environmental pollutants around us, however I'd rather take the risk face on, so to speak.
It makes me sad that women can be so uncomfortable in their own gorgeous skin. I'm not against make up, and think accentuated eyes and lips can make a woman look and feel even more stunning. What I don't support is the shame many women feel when they're not wearing it, as if their barefaced selves aren't worthy enough to present to the world.
I very rarely wear any make up, although the occasional slick of tinted lip-gloss comes out on very special days. Maybe you're thinking that's because I'm sitting in my ivory tower, having been blessed with flawless skin and stunning features. The reality is that I'm an ordinary looking girl with acne rosacea on my cheeks. I definitely don't need blusher as when I'm out having fun with my friends, my laughter and animated conversations make me go pretty red. I only ever notice that during a group selfie afterwards, and have decided not to be self-conscious about it.
This article isn't about telling you to stop wearing make up, people should be free to make their own empowering choices. Instead, it's designed to ask why you wear it, and can you be your true self out in the world without it?