First, a story: She started putting on mascara in the morning because it was fun and made her feel pretty. But what started off as a fun new addition to her morning routine quickly evolved into something more sinister. By the end of freshman year, she felt ugly without her makeup. If she left the house without it she prayed she wouldn’t see anyone she knew. If she forgot to put it on before school, she’d walk around the whole day embarrassed, cringing in the mirror and shying away from social situations. Sophomore and junior year it only got worse: she added eyeliner, foundation, and blush to her daily routine, thickening her mask. Makeup had become a crutch, something without which she absolutely could not feel confident.
For too many girls at Lick, this story is a reality. That’s why, a couple weeks ago, I launched a makeup-free April challenge, and almost 60 girls took the pledge. Going makeup-free for a month is not a proclamation against makeup, but an opportunity for us girls to break our dependence on makeup to feel confident. It is a way to practice focusing on more meaningful parts of our daily lives than fixating on our appearances. Why, for so many girls, does our appearance dictate our confidence? Why have we let ourselves be convinced that attractiveness is equivalent to overall value? We girls are so much more than how we look, and going makeup-free for a month is a way to convince ourselves of that fact.