Kristina Erickson|CIGAR| Students are encouraged to wipe off their makeup last Monday in the Union to promote self-confidence.
Staying bare faced and bold is something that both the University of Rhode Island community and Women’s Center support.
As part of the Celebration, EveryBODY Week, Director of the Women’s Center, Dr. Penny Rosenthal and graduate assistant, Chery Pretas, created #NoMakeupMonday.
“It gives women and men the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate women for their natural beauty,” Rosenthal said.
“I feel like it’s important for others to come together and see and recognize that beauty is skin deep,” Pretas said. “You don’t need to put on a lot of product on your face to have somebody else think you look good because you should feel good for you who are. She says that we should have the option to be celebrated and appreciated for a clean face and our natural beauty, without cosmetics.
They were inspired in Alicia Keys’ movement to no longer wear makeup, which ultimately lead her to the best mindset about self-empowerment. Keys said in an instagram post, “Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.” Keys inspired more celebrities to join her movement.
No Makeup Monday took a step beyond a “comfort zone” and challenged students not to wear makeup for the day by handing out makeup remover wipes and spreading awareness. Moreover, encouraging students to love the skin they’re in and show off their natural beauty.
“No matter where you go, just embrace who you are,” said sophomore, Natalie Gershfeild. She believes it’s up to women to decide whether or whether not they want to wear makeup. She says that there are days where she feels more confident going out depending on her schedule. “I hope nobody should feel pressured to wear makeup because loving who you are beneath any layer on you is so powerful.”
According to the YMCA’s study, Beauty at Any Cost, Women today are constantly being reminded of what is considered beautiful. There are thousands of advertisements that promote this elusive beautiful image to women of all ages, shapes and sizes. By placing photoshopped models in advertisements, society has built up impossible standards of beauty, which has led to feelings of inadequacy among women. This beauty obsession has created a billion dollar industry, which holds the power to shape and change women’s perceptions of beauty. In the $60 billion a year beauty industry, a woman spends an average of $15,000 on cosmetics in a lifetime.
Going beyond self-affirmation and love, for anyone to promote “no makeup anydays,” positively benefits one’s skin care and health. In the United States, cosmetics are not subject to testing by the FDA. The FDA is not required to give “premarket approval” before cosmetics are offered to consumers. Cosmetics companies are not required to register information on cosmetics ingredients, or cosmetics related injuries, to the FDA. Individual cosmetics companies are responsible for substantiating the safety of their ingredients.
“We live in a time of social media and all these expectations that are so hard to fulfill,” said senior, Alexa Gama. “There is so much photoshop and filters and so much pressure in today’s society. I am so glad we have leaders at our university who are doing something about this issue.”
The health implications that impact women of unrealistic beauty attainment are significant in our everyday lives. Idealized physical selves can be avoided by following days like #NoMakeupMonday.