“Don’t need make up to cover up. Being the way that you are is enough.” Didn’t someone say that last year? Oh, that’s right, it was five pop culture phenomenon someones known as One Direction. Were any of us listening, though? I mean, we were all definitely listening, but did we actually hear the message? It is quite obvious that three girls from a Texas high school got the message loud and clear and as a result, a beautiful campaign was born.
How often do you put makeup on before you go to class? Do you regularly feel the need to tend to your face before running to Target on a Saturday morning? Does it take you an hour to get ready to go just about anywhere that could be considered public? Are you sheepishly answering yes to all of the above? Don’t be embarrassed; you aren’t alone. As it turns out, girls at Plano Senior High School reported that it takes them anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to get ready for school in the morning and thus, Operation Beautiful was born.
Students Madeline Milby, Binna Kim and Monica Plenger were inspired to help their classmates prioritize bettering themselves on the inside versus focusing on the outside when they realized just how much time was being spent getting ready for school. Blow drying, hair straightening, makeup application – you name the beauty regime and it was most likely happening in the households of PSHS students, all in the wee hours of the morning before heading into class. So, armed with a camera and a mission, the three girls set out to convince their classmates that, while makeup isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t what makes you beautiful and girls certainly shouldn’t feel pressure to never go without it. The result was a student body united, pledging to go makeup-free for an entire day on March 8, 2013, and a viral video that has inspired thousands.
When the trio openly discussed the need for makeup with their classmates, they received a variety of responses from male and female peers alike. Messages ranged from heartfelt to humorous, all words positive and supportive. The level of confidence these teenagers displayed in one another is certainly a form of kindness that should be celebrated, as should their reasons for supporting Operation Beautiful.
Girls should be able to be confident with or without makeup.
I think girls are pretty just the way they are. They are beautiful in their own skin.
More important than her looks are her personality and her confidence in herself and how she thinks about herself.
Makeup isn’t a bad thing but by (supporting) one day of not wearing it, it can help us remember that we are beautiful without it.
Towards the end of the video, one student passionately drives home what the campaign is really about by posing a series of questions allowing us to wonder what school, or the world for that matter, would be like if we focused on what was truly important.
What if we went to a school where none of that really mattered? What if it was more about what was on the inside than what was on the outside? What if the personality was more important than the perfect face? What if that were our school?
These teenagers possess wisdom and kindness beyond their years and the world would do well to take a listen to their message; not just listen but really hear it. What if we lived in a culture more focused on inner beauty? What if we spent as much time on bettering ourselves from the inside as we do preparing ourselves on the outside? What if we could simply feel like we could go to the grocery store without putting make-up on? I don’t know a woman out there who wouldn’t support that.