Fifteen year-old Shea Gackes recently came up with an inspiring idea for the Miss Representation organization, and I would like to share her idea with all of you.
The idea is called “Fresh Face Fridays,” which inspired the title for my column this week. The concept is to motivate women to make a commitment to be makeup free on Fridays. It has become a global movement over the past few weeks.
Victoria Baitson said, “Makeup should be a form of expression not a mandatory mask.” Personally I wear makeup everyday, not a lot, but it wasn’t until I heard about this idea that I decided to make the commitment to be makeup free not just on Fridays but all weekend long.
Stephanie Hilwig, a sociology professor at Adams State University, recently shared with her class a study that was done about just how much importance is placed on outer beauty in America. The study was conducted by two separate sets of actors, two men and two women. Each of them was sent in for job interviews. The two women were dressed in the same outfit, as were the men. One woman was made to look gorgeous, with her hair and makeup done by a professional makeup artist. The other woman was given blemishes and made to look homely. It never failed, 100 percent of the time the pretty woman got the job. So they tried it with men to see if that would make a difference. It did not; once again 100 percent of the time the handsome man got the job.
The resumes were the same, the outfits were the same and they were all coached ahead of time to speak with confidence. Yet each time the pretty people were treated better, and thought more highly of. To me this is a sad finding about our society. How many times have you heard the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well I think we need to be educated about how not to be so judgmental of that outer impression. There is also the age old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
That cover, that outer packaging (beauty) is only a part of who that person is. What really matters is what goes beneath skin deep.
Maya Angelou said in her poem Phenomenal Woman, that a woman’s beauty is in: “The reach of my arms…the joy in my feet…the sun of my smile…the grace of my style…” That is true beauty. A woman’s mind, heart, and soul are what make her really beautiful.
Outer beauty fades. We grow older and wrinkles creep upon our face. We grow wiser and our hair grows whiter. Americans are conditioned to fight the aging process, to dread it, and to do anything we can to hold it at bay. However, with age also comes wisdom, inner strength, experience, and understanding. Instead of making outer beauty so important why not ensure that we are shaping our character, not just our bodies. Purposefully spend as much time each day loving others as we spend primping in front of the mirror. Mindfully be conscious of how we are judging others outer appearance. “Judge not lest you be judged,” (Matthew 7:1, The Bible).
Inner beauty lasts a lifetime. No one will criticize the beauty of kindness, joy, empathy, generosity, love, and intelligence. It is time to change our definition of beauty from “someone nice to look at” to “someone nice to be around.”
Sophia Loren, an Italian film actress said that, “beauty is how you feel inside and it is reflected in your eyes.” It is my hope that future generations of women will realize this concept. Feel beautiful and you are beautiful. Feel beautiful because you give to your community, because you love unconditionally, because others seek your advice, because you give without thought of return, because you forgive, and because God makes no mistakes – you are perfect just as you are.
Will you commit with me to the “Fresh Face Fridays” movement? If so post your photos on my Facebook page and let me know you think you are beautiful make-up free. My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/tvigil1.
Tori Vigil is an author, inspirational speaker, and reporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org