Monday, 24 March 2014

Why I don't do Make-up free selfies

There is a bit of a trend at the moment for women to take a 'Make-Up free selfie' (self portrait photograph for those not up with current lingo) as a way of raising awareness of Cancer.

While I am an advocate of raising awareness of health, I have a problem with this trend & I won't be posting a make-up free selfie for any other reason than just because it is me- just me, real me, not being brave or courageous but just everyday 43 year old me.

To me seeing women make-up free should not be seen to be being brave or courageous or anything out of the ordinary. Women should be proud every day of their natural beauty.
Why have we gotten to this  place when it is a strange thing to see a woman in all her natural flawed beauty?

Aren't the lines in our face the tales of our lives?  The remains of many years of laughter, of sadness, of joy? A sign of our souls visible from the outside.

Isn't the wilted skin a sign that we have lived a life filled with learning and wonky pathways and stories that fill our soul and sometimes make our heart ache?

Is this nakedness of self not a beauteous thing in which to rejoice in everyday and not be seen as something that only brave women do every once in a while?

Why do we feel the need to look young?  We compliment with words of "Wow you look so young!'  What is shameful about ageing? Why is it not something to celebrate in and rejoice?

Imagine all of us embracing the faces of the aged.  To accept and love the lines, the gnarled hands, the grey hairs, the shape of wisdom. To look beyond these things. What a joyous thing this would be.

The billion dollar beauty industry tells us lies about what we should expect about shapes of women & about how our skin should look. Limbs are elongated, cheeks plumped, lips pouted, nails plasticised.

No wonder we think it is 'brave' to be ourselves when the ideal is not actually achievable in reality.

Don't get me wrong, I wear make-up most days and I really enjoy getting a bit dolled up sometimes. But it is never because I feel embarrassed or uneasy about what is underneath but is all about me feeling like being a bit snazzy- for me and only for me.
It is not wearing make-up I have a problem with but the idea of NOT wearing it being something almost shameful.

Let it be clear that my intention here is NOT to denigrate what I believe are the good intentions of those involved, I really do believe people are acting in good faith.  My motive is to highlight what I see as a flawed campaign.

Don't forget that I am raising five boys to be able to see beyond the current objectification of women & and see what truly makes them beautiful.

Cancer is a horrid disease. One that is indiscriminate and often silent.  It has affected many of my very dear friends & family.
I don't want to diminish in any way the seriousness of this as a health issue- conversely I think we need to do all we can in order to raise awareness and educate.
Just not via encouraging the notion that women should feel uncomfortable in just being their true beautiful bare selves every single day.

Let's just love each other. Bare, beautiful and brave. Every single day. Just for being real.


  1. Love your words. Love a bit of snazzy… love a bit of natural highlight action in the hair department too;) xx

  2. Thank you for this - I was trying to work out why these selfies were making me feel uneasy. Totally happy to talk about and raise awareness of health, but you're right. Why is ageing, especially for women, such a shameful thing?

  3. Very much in agreement here. Rather than taking a selfie, I've shared a donation link on my personal Facebook page. I feel that the makeup-free selfie has, for some, spiraled into an opportunity to seek compliments about their appearance without makeup, when really, we are all naturally beautiful and should embrace it.

    It's unfortunate that we prize youth over facial character, and even in youthful faces, only certain features are revered. I'm glad to see that I'm not alone on this front.

  4. I agree Ruth...I am not jumping on board with this either, I am just not into it. Actually, I am not really into selfies, with or without makeup. Have a lovely week x

  5. Margie @myveryowneyegoggles24 March 2014 11:23

    I am so with you Ruth. I don't care too much for selfies full stop. With or without makeup!

  6. I'm not a make-up gal so for me its not biggie, just about every single photo I post of myself is sans make-up!

    Whats surprised me about this "trend" is how beautiful my make-up loving friends when they are bare faced. I hope they can see their matural beauty as easily as I do :)

  7. well, you already know I am 'embracing the grey' - I can't wait until I'm full silver, two more haircuts I reckon. Love your work, spunk.
    T x

  8. Dear God, growing old is a privilege, i've heard that bandied around lately , and it is so so true. You only have to lose a friend or loved one to make stuff real. I love older women, loved my grandma, no make up apart from lippy for a fancy occasion, always thought she was soooo beautiful in her wrinkly, rounded lived in, loved up form, hope to emulate her big heart, her laughter and her cooking .

  9. You couldn't have said it better Ruth...I am embracing my age (coming to the end of my forties) and am wearing less and less makeup. I still like getting snazzied up, but I no longer feel the need to put on makeup just to go to the supermarket or see my girlfriends. I wish I hadn't worn so much makeup when I was younger, I definitely didn't need it.
    I love reading your blog, it is so refreshing. I love seeing older women with wrinkles, grey hair - just being real, it shows we have lived a good life.

  10. I'm 44 now and love every moment of it-I just don't get those folks who are desperate to turn time back. I wouldn't ever want my 20's again. I do however wear make-up almost every day but I've done that since I was a teen and after trying full-on grey found that it just wasn't me.

  11. So. Good. Beautifully said and I am in wholehearted agreement. x

  12. The standard is that 99% of my 'selfies' online are make up free already... the out of the ordinary is me wearing make up! I'm a stay at home mum for the past 4 years, and my favourite thing about my lifestyle is not having to wear make up every day!!

  13. cityhippyfarmgirl26 March 2014 12:29

    Oh this just brings up so many issues doesn't it. I've pondered on this since you posted it and my answer is still an A4 length, so I will spare you... But! Totally agree.

  14. This is every single thing I think about the whole "bravery" attached to being make-up free. It's not brave, it's just women. God, I wish our society would get over itself and show women that they are perfectly beautiful just the way they are. x

  15. Brilliant! Thank you for writing this.

  16. Lisa Mckenzie1 April 2014 14:05

    Very well said and so true Ruth I love this post....thank you xx

  17. Anne Wheaton8 April 2014 17:45

    Absolutely agree. If I had cancer, I'd stick two fingers up at all these "brave" women and tell them to get a life.


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