There seems to be a trend of late where famous women are showing the world their bare… faces.
From Teri Hatcher and Tyra Banks to Oprah Winfrey and the hosts of The Talk, famous women are showing us what they look like without make up and the media is touting them for being so brave.
When I was growing up, I never saw my Mother wear make up. To this day, the most glam she gets is when she paints her nails for a fancy evening out to dinner. She never had any trouble finding or keeping a man. She married my Father when she was 22 and they never parted. As most girls who enter their teens, I rebelled against the kind of woman my Mother was. I was very into make up and fashion. Of course it didn’t help that throughout my entire childhood I was teased and criticized for being ugly. I hit my teen years with little to no self esteem. My Mother understood that make up was something that I desperately wanted to play with, so, since she couldn’t teach me about it herself, she took me to the local beauty salon and had one of the experts give me a lesson, then bought all the product that were used on me. I am still very grateful to her for encouraging me to follow my own path, even though it was not her path.
As I grew into my twenties and thirties, I never left the house without a full face of make up. Even just a trip to the corner store required, at the very least, concealer, mascara and lipstick. It wasn’t until I hit 40 that I realized that my face is beautiful without a stitch of make up. That’s the ironic thing about being a young woman. When you are at your most beautiful physically is when you are your most insecure. There are times when I have wished that I could have it to do over again with my newfound confidence and priorities along for the ride, but you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to my twenties without all of the wisdom I now have. Now, I maybe put on lipstick once a month. I haven’t worn a full make up application in over 4 years and I don’t see it as bravery, just as a shift in self perception and priorities. I am single and still get plenty of male attention. The attention I get now is different, though. It’s no longer whistles and hoots from afar (which I hated). The attention I get now, without make up is more of a real interest in who I am. I have heard from men, on more than a few occasions, how attractive and sexy my confidence is.
So, while I applaud these famous women for ditching their masks and showing the younger generation that you can be beautiful with your naked face, I resent the fact that they seem to be doing it for less that altruistic reasons. I also resent the media for making it seem like such a big deal. In the video below, the anchors of The Showbiz Countdown are reacting to the hosts of The Talk recently doing an entire episode of their show without make up.
It also bothers me that they all had to be wearing robes or towels during the episode, as if to say that the only appropriate time in which to be sans make up is before you are fully dressed.
In the wake of one of the world’s most powerful women, Hillary Clinton, being vilified for going without make up this just seemed like a stunt for ratings. When Hillary Clinton goes without make up, she does it because she has more important things to think about. She has also reached an age where she is more worried about who she is and what she is accomplishing than what she looks like, and for that I say Brava!
It’s sad that women, in general, have yet to reach a stage where we are no longer judged first and foremost by what we look like and second by our accomplishments. The fact that the media jumped down throat of the Secretary of State for going without make up speaks volumes about how far women have yet to go before we are truly equal.
6 thoughts on “Women who have bared it all”
So True! It’s so interesting what a big deal is made when women break out of the gender stronghold that says women have to or should look pretty, hiding behind makeup. Why can’t we be beautiful as we are? And why are we always being judged by our looks and whether we’re pretty enough? I suppose it’s a good distraction from all the amazing things women do and say. Your last line is so absolutely right on target! Thanks for the post! -Liza Wolff-Francis, Matrifocal Point
Thank YOU for the comment.
I agree! When I worked in Washington DC I had a running argument with co-workers where I said I thought women were so much more beautiful without make up. I also joked that it was a conspiracy to keep women behind – I could zip out of bed, brush my teeth, throw on clothes and get out the door in ten minutes. No make up means more time! Alas, my co-workers, both male and female disagreed (though one was consistent in saying she thought men would look better in make up).
Now I’ve got two sons, both my wife and I work (she wears make up, even though she knows I don’t really like it), and yet we’re not following cultural stereotypes. Since my wife has a higher stress job and is working on an MBA, I tend to take the kids to and from school, volunteer for the PTA, get the kids ready in the AM and put them to bed. I’m the “mom,” doing laundry and cleaning up so my wife can come home to a orderly house. It drives me crazy to see parenting magazines talking about “moms” and “dads” in stereotypical terms. I just hope our boys grow up thinking laundry and house work is what moms and dads both do! Unfortunately, we’re having trouble getting them to see that as something kids do too!
Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. Sadly, I think you shall have quite the uphill battle for many years to come convincing your kids that housework is for kids too. Have you tried the Tom Sawyer tactic yet?
You know I love your writing. Just commenting to let you know I’m posting this on the facebook page for my blog (with credit to you of course) – loveddd this blog entry!
Thank you so much. That means a lot coming from you. I am an ardent admirer of your blog.