Kindness UncoveredYou Don't Need Makeup To Cover UpKatie Patton

“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.

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  1. I support this 100%! Today people (namely the media) glorify youth and define beauty so much that people have a skewed perception of what it really is. I say all of us women start the revolution right now and stop wearing make up on the count of three! One…two…

    • 3! I agree, Sandi; makeup should only be worn for fun or because the person wants to for their own reasons, not because they feel pressure from the media or anywhere else. Thanks for reading!

  2. This stuff confuses me, honestly. If you don’t “dress nice” and “wear makeup”, people think you don’t take things seriously and your demeanor is lazy, even if that’s not why you don’t wear makeup and dress nice. If I were to go to an interview, any interview anywhere pretty much, without makeup, chances are very high that I wouldn’t get that job. So this message is confusing.

    • Hi Jordan! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I think we often feel that way because as a society, we do tend to send that message. That is why I think campaigns like this are so great- they work to encourage everyone to accept people the way they are and for what they offer on the inside. We may have a ways to go, but it is nice to see that so many out there are using their voice to make a difference!

  3. I love this and love the concept of Operation Beautiful! I’ll be leaving notes to encourage positivity!! Thank you for writing this blog post!

  4. I think we get so used to wearing makeup all the time that we forget it’s not always necessary. Two years ago when I was traveling in Europe I met a really sweet and cute Irish girl who convinced me I don’t always need makeup. Sure enough I remember we took a picture one day and we both looked great without makeup on. I think sometimes just a dab of mascara and some lip gloss can really do the trick if you take good care of your skin. I think it’s all about self image sometimes. I know some people who never wear makeup and look great and others I don’t even know what they look like without makeup. I always keep it light so if I’m in a rush I don’t look exhausted to people just because my face is naked.

    • Thanks for sharing that story Aerin! Love that she inspired you to go makeup free and I am sure you were both just as beautiful without it! You are right- it is all about how we see ourselves:)

  5. I’m not in high school any more (well, technically I am, but as a teacher, not student) but I’m simply too lazy to put on make up every morning. Sleep > make up.

    • Agreed! Happy to hear you feel like you can get that extra bit of sleep in place of putting makeup on everyday! Good example for the students as well