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96% of women around the world can’t call themselves this…

Make Up Free Founder, Merissa Matthew.
Make Up Free Founder, Merissa Matthew.

By MERISSA MATTHEW

Surely there’s something wrong when only 4% of women around the world can call themselves beautiful.

These statistics were revealed during the Dove campaign for Real Beauty, first started in 2004. It’s not difficult to be shocked by these statistics. However, if I were to be completely honest here, I’d have to say that I probably sit in the 96%.

But I can also say that I am currently on a journey in discovering value in who I am, rather than what I look like. And now, after 12 months of sweat, blood (and a few tears), I’m on a mission to bring this issue out into the open.

In late 2012, I established Makeup Free Me – a campaign to help create a world where women love and celebrate who they are.

Our core beliefs are that firstly, we are unique in the way we look and there is beauty in our differences. In other words we don’t have to look a certain way to be beautiful. Secondly, who we are is far more important than our outward appearance. Can you imagine what our society would look like if we all truly believed this?

On Friday 30th August 2013 we are encouraging women all across Australia to take on the challenge of going without makeup for one day, and to get their family and friends to sponsor them.

By asking women to go makeup free for a mere 24 hours, we are showing the world we love who we are, the way we are and are taking a unified stand against negative body image. We are also raising funds to support the Butterfly Foundation who are dedicated to helping and supporting those affected by eating disorders and negative body image. All funds are going directly to their preventive programs on positive body image, self esteem development and media literacy education.

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Today, we're challenging every woman to go makeup free.
Today, we’re challenging every woman to go makeup free.

I must say at this point that Makeup Free Me is not anti-makeup. Rather we’re about acceptance and living in a world where you should feel like you don’t need to wear makeup to look or feel good. It’s about choice. Many women and girls don’t feel they have that choice at the moment.  We need to see what is real, and be accepted and celebrated the way we are, naturally. And men, you can get involved too by supporting the women in your life, donating to the cause and promoting the Makeup Free Me message.

It comes back to that 4% statistic. How is it only 4% of us consider ourselves beautiful? The idea of beauty needs to embrace the way we really look, as our unique, vibrant selves. I love the idea of starting together, on one day and showing the world we are amazing the way we are. Beauty cannot be ‘one size fits all’, and by standing together and embracing our differences, it’s a start to tackling this.

To celebrate on the day, Make up Free Me will also be hosting a Girls’ Night event at River’s Edge, Melbourne on Friday 30th August. Ladies whether you’re registered to go makeup free or not, join us at the Makeup Free Me Girls’ Night event. Tickets are only $55 and you’ll enjoy canapés, drinks, lots of entertainment and of course all the proceeds go directly to the Butterfly Foundation. We also have lots of great prizes to give away.

You can also find us on Facebook, and can join the cause by taking a makeup free selfie on the day and tagging us in.

After a lot of hard work, I’m counting down the hours until August 30. I can see in the media and by conversations with women that we’re ready to start to embrace ‘realness’. Together, we can champion positive body image.

Do you go makeup free often?

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