So I set the Dare to Bare Challenge. This was to try and encourage women to embrace their ‘bare’ selves; that is, being seen without any makeup on. I wasn’t expecting loads of people to take part, but as it was shared via The Curvy Gurl’s FB page I knew it had the potential to reach several thousand people and therefore I hoped that a handful of those would be willing to take part. In the end I received just three entries. Three out of over 40,000. (I sound like Rose from Titanic!) I felt crushed. Not so much that I’d run a competition that had fallen flat, but the implication of that – that only three women felt able to be seen without makeup on and to post a picture of it. Even the lure of big prizes wasn’t enough. It’s devastating to me that we’ve created a world where women are too afraid to simply be seen as they are. It shouldn’t be that way.
It’s been popular in the media at the moment for men to come forward saying they feel conned by women wearing makeup. Although they are taking it to extremes I do think there is a valid point to take from it – that makeup is often used as a mask of sorts. So many women use makeup to hide behind and to smooth out any perceived imperfections. So although the ‘us’ we present to the world may not be a lie, it’s also not the truest version of ourselves either. We all have imperfections, we all have things we wish were a bit more this, or a little less that, but the thing is, doing all we can to show others that we don’t have these imperfections is doing more harm than good. We all come home thinking everyone else is perfect except us, and that’s a really damaging mentality. Whereas if we went out ‘warts and all’ people would realise that actually, we’re none of us perfect, AND THAT’S OKAY.
Of course it’s scary to step outside of your comfort zone, and even scarier to put yourself in a position where you’re open to judgment, but this superficial and critical society isn’t ever going to change unless people are prepared to take a risk and show others that it’s okay to break away from society’s unrealistic beauty ideals. We need to show each other that there are many forms of beauty, and that they are all acceptable. Naturally everyone is sitting back hoping that someone else will make that bold move, but the time for change is now, so we need as many people as possible to take that leap of faith and try to make a difference.
How wonderful would it be to live in a world where you could throw on your comfiest clothes, not worry about doing your hair or makeup and go to the shop knowing no-one would even blink an eyelid because everyone is doing the same? Imagine that! Imagine all the extra sleep you’d get!
Nothing’s going to change overnight, but it would be incredible to set the wheels in motion. And how amazing would it feel to know that you helped make that change happen? So let go of the FEAR and be a PIONEER!