Australian women wipe off their foundation for Makeup Free Me day

 

Hundreds of women around Australia are pledging to wear no makeup for 24 hours tomorrow, Friday, August 29, in order to combat negative body image.

 By JORDANA DE VALLE

Australian women will wipe off their makeup tomorrow as part of the 2014 Makeup Free Me “let’s lift the mask” campaign.

According to market research company GfK Australia, only 37 per cent of Australian women are happy with the way they look, while 73 per cent would like to change their physical appearance.

Makeup Free Me founder Merissa Mathew said she hoped that this year’s campaign would help raise awareness and fuel positive body image.

“Makeup Free Me allows women to actually stop for 24 hours and recognise where we find our self worth. It allows us to stop and take a day out in the calendar year to do something that most of us find difficult,” Ms Mathew said.

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“Going makeup-free allows women to ‘take off the mask’ and recognise what it is we place our value in and what influences us.”

Although the campaign encourages girls not to wear makeup for a day, Ms Mathews said neither she, nor the campaign, was anti-makeup.

“I love my makeup; I wear makeup every day. It’s actually a way that women express themselves and wearing it doesn’t mean you have negative body image,” she said.

“But we know it’s difficult for some girls not to wear makeup and it can be a bit exposing, so makeup gives us the platform to explore something deeper and start having these conversations.”

Makeup Free Me is hoping to raise $250, 000 tomorrow. All funds raised will go to the Butterfly Foundation, which seeks to provide support and help for anyone affected by negative body image and eating disorders.

Butterfly Foundation chief executive officer Christine Morgan said the Butterfly Foundation relied predominately on donations for its funding needs.

It matters a great deal to us to have the type of support being offered by Makeup Free Me and that support will make a very real difference in terms of how far we can spread our wings; it means we can do things that would otherwise not be possible,” she said.

Some of the money raised will be used to run body image programs in primary schools and highs schools that teach children about self-esteem, positive body image and media literacy.

“I can’t believe how young some children are when they begin to say they are too fat or not beautiful.  Makeup Free Me goes to the heart of saying that we are all beautiful in our own natural skin,” Ms Morgan said.

“The earlier we can get that message through to children, the more chance we will have that they will develop resilience to negative body image.”

Sasha, 18,  is one of hundreds of women who have pledged to lift the mask and go makeup-free this Friday in a challenge to raise money and awareness.

“I usually wear makeup every day to uni and whenever I go out, it’s a must,” she said.

When I don’t wear makeup I usually don’t feel as confident and I avoid going out to the shops or meeting up with friends.

I’m hoping by not wearing makeup this Friday it promotes the idea that you should be able to feel comfortable in your own skin.”

Celebrities such as Rebecca Judd, Abbey Earl and Saskia Hampele have also registered to go makeup free this Friday.

Ms Mathews encourages women of all ages to participate and get involved by registering to go makeup-free online or attending the MFM Masquerade Girls’ Night in Melbourne.

 “Whether it be a grandmother, mother or daughter, age doesn’t matter because it’s about starting a conversation, spreading a message and striving for change,” Ms Mathews said.