What it's like to go make up free for a year.

365 days.

That’s how long American student Annie Garau is planning on going make-up free.

The 20-year-old has vowed to not touch foundation, bronzer, blush or anything rhyming with mascara for a whole year. And she’s doing it because she wants to fully understand the role that make up plays in our lives.

Annie, a student at Indiana University, started the project in January.

And this is her – 200 days in.

On her blog Annie described the project as a stand against “blatant sexism that is so prevalent” through make-up: 

For me, the imbalance between the sexes is a plain as the makeup on my face. Literally. When women are constantly judging ourselves and each other solely on our appearance, how can we expect men not to? When women repeatedly look in the mirror and tell themselves that they are not good enough, how can we gain the confidence needed to become Senators and CEOs?

Annie goes onto say:

The answer is not makeup. I’m not saying that gallons of makeup remover will get 200 more women elected to Congress. What I am saying is that makeup might allude to the deeper issue: we don’t like ourselves.

Honest, blunt, and the more I think about it -true.

Two of the young women Annie inspired.

Most people I know (myself included) feel like they need make-up. It’s a security blanket to cover up your flaws, something to boost your self esteem and something to make you feel that little closer to perfection – and hey – it’s fun.

But the fact that a woman going without make-up for a year makes global headlines, shows us where society and women are at with body image – not very far.

Annie isn’t the first person to go make-up free for a year, and she won’t be the last. But by highlighting this issue on a global scale, she’s making it a little more acceptable – much more acceptable than a photo of a #makeupfreeselfie.

As she told the Huffington Post: 

 “”I know that in the grand scheme of things, whether or not to wear makeup is probably a trivial decision, but how women perceive themselves — and are perceived by others — is not trivial.”
Let’s hope other young women jump on board.
Brava, Annie. Brava.
How long have you gone without make-up for?