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.
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?