Things my coworkers said recently really bummed me out. We were taking pictures for our building directory and the women around me were complaining about how they hated taking time out of their day to get their picture taken.
They complained about their hair, their skin, their clothes, their bodies. One made a comment that she would be making others suffer by looking at the picture of her. Another offered me money to photoshop her to make her look thinner and years younger.
Granted, these women are much older than I am. However, it made me so sad seeing how tearing yourself down is socially acceptable (and frankly encouraged) to bond with other women.
Yes I’ve been having more acne than usual lately. Yes I have more wrinkles on my forehead than your average 23-year-old. My brows are uneven and don’t get me started on the bags under my eyes.
But I love who I am, and I love the freedom of not wearing makeup and giving my skin the chance to breathe. It gives me more time to do other things and it actually allows my skin the chance to heal.
If I don’t post as often on social media as I used to, it’s because I’m not putting as much makeup on my face than I did a year ago. I LOVE the artistic freedom doing makeup provides for me, but it makes me so sad to hear people tear themselves apart or feel like they’re not beautiful without putting paint and chemicals on their face. I hate feeling self-conscious about walking out of the house without ANY makeup on, and I hate worrying about losing “followers” if I don’t keep providing them with new content.
My boyfriend took this photo after we went on a hike to Franklin Falls recently. I wasn’t wearing makeup and my hair was a mess from being in gusty wind earlier that afternoon so I wasn’t going to take any photos, or ask to have any photos taken of me.
But – he took the photo anyways. He took the picture and told me how beautiful I was. Not because of what I was wearing, the way my hair was styled, or because of what I put on my face (obviously!). I think I looked beautiful in that moment because I had accomplished something challenging, and I was pushing myself to be my best.
Being beautiful isn’t about making yourself more aesthetically appealing. Beauty comes from sharing love and kindness so that others feel loved, and fully know they are worthy of being called beautiful. They’re not beautiful because of what they put on – they are beautiful simply because they were created to exist.
I want to be “boldly bare” and encourage others to be boldly bare as well. It goes beyond having the courage to post a picture of yourself without makeup, filters, or photoshop. It’s finding beauty in things other than makeup, clothes, and material possessions. It’s finding beauty in the things that really make us who we are: her smile that lifts the spirits of others, his ability to make people laugh, the way they go above and beyond to make people feel beloved.
Be Beautiful; Be Boldly Bare.