Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bloggers without makeup, a deconstruction

This is a re-post of the piece I posted on BlogHer yesterday.

Unless you've been absent from your computer you've probably heard that May 14th was Bloggers Without Makeup day, the brainchild of Australian blogger Jodie Ansted. In an effort to combat the unhealthy and unrealistic images of women portrayed in the media and to underscore the fact that real beauty comes from within, Ansted urged bloggers to post pictures of themselves sans makeup.

When I read the original post announcing her idea, I was keen to participate. I hurriedly took a picture of myself with my little handheld with the glaring flash, donning my bathrobe (yeah), drafted my post and waited for her to put up her McLinky so that I could hit publish. Overachiever am I.

As soon as she did, people began to link up. In droves. At first it was mostly Australians, then it began to spread to other continents and before long there was the Bloggess, sans makeup, sans centaur (kept the cat). At last count there were 175 women linked up.

Twitter and Facebook and the comment sections of blogs lit up with excitement over this little meme. It was really something to see. And I think I know what all the fuss was about.

Something began to happen as I clicked on blog after blog after blog and looked at all of these pictures. Women showing up before the world with their rosacea and their crows feet and their crooked noses and wonky eyes and warm, shy smiles. Open, honest, vulnerable, 100% themselves.

I thought they were beautiful. Not beautiful. Absolutely, bloody gorgeous.

I stayed up late into the night leaving comments after comment. I got up early the next morning and there were more blogs to visit. I got off work early and started in again, clicking on blogs, leaving comments. “You look stunning!” “My god, you are simply beautiful.” And not just me. Every woman was saying the same thing. Because it was true.

Look. Look at these women and tell me they are not beautiful. Her and her and her and her. I love these women.

I love them for the same reason I love writing that is raw and honest and from the heart. Because we all crave the genuine article. Here we are thinking we need to hide who we are, put on a mask and show the world what we think the world wants to see. But the world wants to see us, warts and all, because there is something in all of us that responds to authenticity.

Thank you Jodie for lighting a match that started a fire that lit up the hearts of women around the world.

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  1. I think you've got it! I think it was so much fun and we all felt connected, because we really want people to get to know us for who we truly are, even though that can be a scary thing. We created a safe place to reveal ourselves. We set up a positive, caring and supportive environment. It was so exciting! Imagine if we could take that initiative and positive energy, and carry it over to our interactions in the real world... The impact would be phenomenal!

  2. As per usual, spot on again my crazy beautiful Kristin.XO

  3. Spot on. It's interesting isn't it. We bare a lot of ourselves on our blogs, but not what we look like without the armour of makeup or the best shots we can find of ourselves. Authenticity is the key.

  4. I read this and i loved it... Right on spot...

  5. Exactly what I was thinking! It is an amazing idea!

  6. You got a mention over on Life...

    The Full Monty


  7. Oh WOW. How'd I get a mention in your beauty's from the phenomenal pool of gorgeous women to choose from??? Chuffed :)

    I totally agree with everything you wrote. AND I think part of the amazing thing was in that that very something in the beauty of the raw faces..more open, more real...I've seen so many of these faces before but it's in the raw shots that I got dragged in deep. With each of them. I felt like I really got to 'know the person' in a funny sort of way, not the image. And I loved being dragged in that deep.

    A totally wonderful experience....


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