All Natural Day Redux

So, to my great pleasure and surprise- every one of my 44 students went all natural on Friday.  And what came as no surprise was that each one of them was breathtaking.  Absolutely breathtaking. 

After we started class with an exam, we had a great conversation about the All Natural Experience.  A few of them thought it was just a crazy idea that I spouted off once that I wouldn’t follow up on and plenty of them were curious to see what their classmates looked like without make-up, but all of them were happy to have done it and even my students who really felt they needed make-up came away with an appreciation for the skin they were in after the experience.  Overall, eyeliner and/or mascara were the products that were missed the most (they make me look more awake or I feel like I look tired without them was the response about why) and everyone liked having more time in the morning.    

Here are some of the specifics of what my students had to say:

I did not feel like myself without wearing make-up. Iwas really anxious to put on some make-up, but I honestly don’t think I look that bad without it.  I learned that I don’t always need make-up to feel beautiful. 

I learned that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way, and that we don’t need materialistic things to be happy or for someone to think we’re beautiful. 

I don’t think people really notice make-up or hair products as much as we think they do. 

Most people think they look horrible without make-up but they are really naturally beautiful. 

Nobody even noticed!  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  No one really cares if I’m wearing make-up.  They have their own problems.  My f ace is fine the way it is and I’ll save money and time by not trying to “fix” my face. 

My thoughts: 

I don’t believe make-up is evil at all.  In fact, if you’ve seen me in the flesh, you know I like some blush.  But I do worry about people who use make-up as a crutch in their actions.  I’ve had so many women say to me that they have made choices about their daily life- whether or not they speak up in class, go out on a spontaneous date or to dinner with friends, etc- because of how they feel their hair or make-up look.  Make-up can be fun.  I have fun with it.  But I don’t want people to be paralyzed by the feeling that they need to have a certain made-up look going in order to enjoy their lives.  When several of my students told me in their body image autobiographies that they absolutely altered their day based on how they felt they looked, whether or not their hair or make up was done, etc, this idea came to me. 

The resounding reaction in class on Friday was that, wow, we’re beautiful and we’re way too hard on ourselves.  That’s more than I could have hoped for when I first had this idea, and I think this challenge will become a staple in the body image class for semesters to come.

Did you go all natural?  What was your experience like? What did you learn?  What did you miss the most?

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4 responses to “All Natural Day Redux”

  1. Autumn

    My biggest surprise was how not-self-conscious I felt–self-consciousness is pretty much my biggest vulnerability, and I’ve always considered makeup as a sort of crutch to help with that. So I was expecting to feel exposed–naked, in a way. Much to my surprise, I didn’t actually feel all that different. Yet instead of making me feel like, “Oh, I don’t need to wear makeup” it was more that I feel better about the reasons why I do. Very interesting experience–thank you for the prompt!

    I wrote in more depth about it here if you’re interested:

  2. Jenny

    I got up the courage to go all natural and found that once I left the house I didn’t really think about it at all. My husband commented that I looked tired, which is of course my natural state. And my daughter thought I didn’t look different at all. Maybe I’ll try it more often!

  3. Laura

    I was sick, so I think the lack of make-up looked more pronounced than usual (although I don’t wear that much to begin with). I’ve gone without make-up enough that it didn’t make me feel terribly self-conscious. If anything, I was running late in the morning so the excuse of all natural day was even more appealing 🙂

    Also, just saw this blog post from a fashion blog I read and thought you might find it interesting:

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