Why I’m not going “makeup free” on Facebook

Let me start by saying that when anyone looks at themselves in the mirror and is happy with what they see, that is a beautiful thing. And when a woman chooses not to wear makeup because she’s happy with her face the way it is, that’s great too.

But what is this whole “no makeup nomination” business really about? Is it about feeling comfortable and happy in our own skin? Or is it yet another way to base our self-worth on our appearances?

I don’t have perfect skin. I am 26 years old and I still break out all the time. I deal with rosacea and dry patches and puffy skin and, on especially bad days, an atrocious double chin. Now let me make myself very clear: I am not fishing for your sympathy, empathy, your pity compliments, honest compliments, or your feedback. I am extremely happy with my face, faults and all. At my 26 years I have learned to appreciate it for exactly what it is and when it doesn’t make me happy I let it go.

But letting it go isn’t something I’ve always been able to do. I’ve struggled for years over body image issues. This isn’t some huge confession. I’m no different from any other young woman. My friends and I speak about these things nearly every day. I see these issues in every woman I know. I see it when they try on clothes; I see it when they do their hair and makeup; I see it when they choose their meals.

They (we) are all beautiful, healthy women, yet we spend so time obsessing over our looks. Forgive me if I don’t think a makeup free selfie is going to fix that. 

Because what about the woman who doesn’t feel comfortable taking a no makeup selfie? What about the woman who is nominated and, like EVERY celebrity “makeup free” photo, touches up a little bit here or there, covers a spot or two, puts on some shimmering moisturizer and then snaps a pic? What about the surely tens of thousands of teenagers who are experiencing this trend all over their social media who don’t feel comfortable with themselves and are inundated with beautiful young women, somehow blessed with clear skin, who don’t know how to respond to their nomination because they aren’t confident enough or don’t feel beautiful enough to show their naked face to the world?

And for the women who do, do we really need to pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a hearty congratulations for having the bravery, the audacity to post a picture online sans makeup?

Apparently this trend has raised 2 million pounds for UK Cancer Research. Well, that’s fucking fantastic. But I only learned that today. Most of the pictures I’ve seen haven’t mentioned anything about that. And while I would never want to condemn something that is raising money for a good cause, what on earth is the correlation between not wearing makeup and raising money for cancer research? Oh, and did you donate?

I hesitate to even post this as some of the selfies in my newsfeed were posted by some of the loveliest people I know. They radiate inner beauty and that’s why I’m so blessed to call them my friends. (But they’re also really pretty. Like, really naturally pretty.)

So why must we continue to base our self-worth on our looks? Where are the nominations to spread happiness? Do good? Plant flowers? Buy a stranger coffee? Tell someone you love them?

I’m aware this is a silly battle to fight. It’s relatively well-intentioned and at the end of the day, it’s raising money for good. But I’m also trying to be aware of what this means for us as women, as a society. Let’s work on being happy and comfortable with ourselves for exactly who we are — NOT what we look like.

In lieu of posting a makeup free photo I’m going to donate $10 to cancer research. Then I’m going to step in front of the mirror, cover up that ugly zit right under my nose, and head out into the world. I nominate you to do whatever the fuck you feel like doing, but doing it with kindness and the intention to improve others’ lives through your actions.

To donate to the BC Cancer Foundation click here.

This was supposed to be about wedding dress shopping but it turned into a long rant about shitty romantic movies.

Another day came and went and I only took two photos: this one for Instagram, extolling the beauty that is cheap, American-bought alcohol and this one:

the vowOooh, so impressed. NOT.

It’s kind of timely actually as last night we were driving around and we stopped at a red light next to a poster of A Winter’s Tale. Go ahead: watch the trailer; I dare you. So I groaned when we pulled up to the poster and Ryan asked me the (very valid) question of, “Why do these movies keep getting made (if they’re so shitty)?”

The reason I took the above picture is because I watched The Vow, in theatres, no less, and I f*cking HATED it. It is a bad, bad film movie. So the thought, to me, of marketing a film by associating it with The Vow is laughable. WHY WOULD THEY THINK THAT WOULD MAKE ME WANT TO SEE IT?! Oh, right, because The Vow grossed 125 MILLION dollars.

There is it.

Both A Winter’s Tale and Endless Love are being released on Valentine’s Day: in a month that is already statistically proven to release awful movies and on a day where the entire marketing world pulls at impressionable women’s heartstrings. To be honest, I have no sympathy for women who get sucked into that crap (Eat some chocolate and get over it.) but it irritates me to no end that this is all we’re being offered.

No, I haven’t seen A Winter’s Tale or Endless Love and, yes, they’re two slightly different genres (fantasy-romance and thriller-romance, respectively). But they’re both made for and marketed to women on the assumption that we’ll watch anything with romance in it; and they’re right.

I LOVE romantic movies. I want to watch romantic movies. I want to watch historical ones, hilarious ones, ensemble ones. But the films that are coming out these days are almost uniformly sycophantic, offensive, and straight-up BAD.

Okay, confession time: I kind of liked the trailer to A Winter’s Tale. Ohmigawd, I know! I’m sorry. I’ve been ranting for minutes and it’s all a lie! I totally want to watch a bad romantic movie! But you know why I won’t watch it? The romantic leads are 13 years apart. And I just can’t do that anymore.

Because it’s not just this one film. It seems like 90% of films released, genre be damned, the female lead is SIGNIFICANTLY younger than the male lead. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale? 16 years. Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara? 11 years. Leo Dicaprio and Margot Robbie? 16 years.

And, listen, I know I’m leaving out Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock, but those talented ladies are the exceptions, not the rule. It’s not all awful. There are tons of brilliant filmmakers making movies with women of all ages. It’s getting better, slowly. But until there’s equality in the gender of the leads of films, until women stop getting described by their looks and men by their personalities in scripts, and until the age discrepancy between leads is equal (unless necessary to the plot), I will keep ranting.

I will not see Endless Love because, frankly, it looks like a shitty movie. And I will not see A Winter’s Tale because of the age discrepancy. But I bet they’ll both recoup their budgets and AWT will make some significant profit. Oh, how I wish they wouldn’t.

So what are we going to do about it? Don’t pay to see a romantic movie just because it’s romantic; wait; read the reviews; make an educated choice. And if you’re a writer, write something better. Be aware of how you’re describing your characters. Ask yourself why you’re making the females in your script younger than their males counterparts. AND, SCREENWRITERS, WRITE US SOME GOD DAMN AWESOME ROMANTIC MOVIES!!! (I’m looking at you, little Sam.)

Be conscious about what you’re choosing to watch. And this stuff bothers you like it does me, say something about it. We’re living in a day and age where social media matters and right now, we’re the target market.

Because let’s face it, ladies (and gents), we deserve better!

Welcome, let’s talk about Lorde

Let’s not make this a “get to know me” post, okay? I’m here. You’re here. Enjoy.

So because I wasted all my brain power choosing a theme for this website, I leave you with today’s obsession: Lorde and her LP, Pure Heroine. Especially A World Alone. Damn that’s a good song.

The album is refreshing, mellow, and (forgive me for this one) groovy. Plus, she’s kind of a bad ass; and not just for a seventeen-year-old. She’s already spoken out about her disappointment with her female contemporaries and proudly calls herself a feminist. And, believe it or not, her lyrics actually reflect her actions. Again, bad ass. (Also, that hair!!)

Which brings me to… I think this is the decade feminist loses its negative connotations. I side with Joss Whedon on the whole “ist-issue.” It’s a bummer that people hesitate to call themselves that when I know they believe in equal gender rights. Say it, FEMINIST! It’s not a dirty word. Beyoncé‘s in. John Legend, too. And now, Lorde, hopefully leading a generation of younger women and men to be loud, proud feminists.

Say no to foam fingers, kids and download purchase Lorde’s album!

Happy first post 🙂

Ps. Alternatively we ditch feminist and come up with a new word. Any suggestions?


Pps. Am on the hunt for a hair product to get these locks as close as possible to those locks. Suggestions gratefully accepted.