‘No Makeup November’ aims to grow girls’ self-confidence

Katie Matthews, Staff Writer

Now that October is over and fall is in full swing, it’s time for colder weather, good food, pumpkin spice lattes, and various traditions like No Shave November and its lesser known cousin, No Makeup November.

No Make Up November is a newer movement stemming from Rave Ministries, an online group of Christian women, that encourages women to go the entire month without the common safety blanket of makeup.

This year, women, including a few from Bearden, from 33 states and Canada are participating in a journey designed to increase self confidence and worth.

“I really wanted to challenge myself to let go of my high beauty standards and to appreciate the unique features that I do have,” junior Mary Lehn said. “A few of my friends are also participating in No Makeup November, so I know I would have a really strong support system.”

So far, Lehn has grown more comfortable in her skin despite the first few days of feeling “exposed” without her makeup and her initial worries about her peers’ judgement.

Another junior participating is Annie Smith who was apprehensive about going makeupless for the same reasons.

The first day Smith was going to see her peers with her bare face was a Sunday morning at church. That morning Smith almost decided to stop participating because of teenagers’ tendency to judge each other, but decided to continue participating mainly because she had already posted an Instagram picture and “there was no going back.”

“I was really worried about my peers and how they would see me, but at the end of the day, the people that cared about me before are still going to care about me,” Smith said.

One more junior who is also embracing the natural look is Avery McKinney who agrees with both Lehn and Smith that this experience has allowed her to become less dependent on makeup and more comfortable with her natural appearance.

Like Smith, McKinney believes that what really matters is not what her peers think, but what her true friends know to be true: that she is naturally beautiful.

“One of the biggest goals… is to show girls that the people who truly care about you love you for what’s on the inside, and the people who judge you for something as small as wearing makeup or not shouldn’t make anyone feel insecure,” McKinney said.

All the girls agree that their inner beauty is shining out; they don’t need makeup to be beautiful, and their peers’ reactions or lack thereof is not what they expected.

They all agree that there have been no comments or teasing about their change in appearance. Their peers just didn’t seem to notice or care, but others’ opinions are not what matters to these ladies.

From what they’ve experienced so far, Lehn and McKinney both agree that they would participate again. Smith, however, isn’t sure if she would.

“Now that I know I can do it, I don’t feel like I have to do it again, but maybe next year will come around and I’ll decide that it was a really good experience and see if there’s anymore I can get out of it,” Smith said. “Right now, I feel like it could be a one time thing.”

Either way, this November will be one they never forget as they move forward together on this journey to a stronger self confidence without their makeup.