Well, now there’s a good reason. The Renfrew Center Foundation – considered to be one of the nation’s leading centers for treating eating disorders – is asking people to go barefaced for one day on social media this week. Yep. Snap your “scrubbed mug” before any makeup, and share it everywhere with the hashtag #barefacedbeauty.
No one, of course, thinks that baring our faces is going to change the way that eating disorders hurt and damage people – but by going bare, we show and own the flaws of being human. Melissa Harris-Perry put it beautifully on MSNBC today.
But makeup can become a mask that shields our authentic selves, full of perceived imperfections, from a world that judges women harshly and repeatedly on how we look, rather than what we think, how we contribute, or who we are. Renfrew’s research has shown that more than a quarter of girls who wear makeup rarely or never leave the house without it.
Ms. Harris-Perry also shares some depressing statistics from Renfrew.
42% of first-third grade girls want to be thinner.
81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
In the past decade, hospitalizations for eating disorders increased by 119% for children younger than 12.
As the mother of a daughter, I worry about the relationship my daughter has with food (as mine is completely screwed up) – but mothers of boys now need to worry as well, as eating disorders in boys are rising. So I’m going to support the effort this week. And here’s my bare face; hope you’ll join me one day this week!