Barefaced Beauty



A couple of weeks ago there was a spate of women posting make-up free selfies. They would be nominated by a friend, and then with loud protestations and in the spirit of charitable sacrifice (this was all in aid of breast-cancer awareness), they would finally put the horrifying image up for the world to see.

Except not a single one of those pictures was horrifying.

Some people looked a little tired- they had small children and/or had taken the photo in the early morning. Some hadn’t posed in flattering light or had caught themselves at an angle that elongated their nostrils. Some were clearly clenched with fear at their exposure. But, despite all this, they looked like themselves. And they are all gorgeous in their own way. All of them.

When did we arrive at the point when we were afraid to show our faces without a covering of creams, powders and pencils? When did it become so shameful that we had to be nominated to do it, and only then would we do it for a cause? When did we become so afraid of the two dimensional image that picks up our outsides and may or may not catch us looking the way we wish we looked?

I can’t say I don’t care about what I look like, but I do try (and try harder the older I get) to focus more on inner beauty, in myself and in others: “beauty fades and charm is deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30).

And just because I can’t help myself, a small feminist howl: could you imagine a world in which men dared each other to post pictures of themselves barefaced??

p.s I know I should post a make-up free selfie but I can’t figure out how to do it…