Friday 30 January 2015

College student goes makeup free for a year in beauty experiment

Published 23/07/2014 | 11:12

American college student Annie Garau has decided to refute all makeup for an entire year.

The 20-year-old decided to go 100% makeup free beginning on January 1st and has been surprised at the reactions of her friends.

"Like most women in this country, I don't consider myself beautiful," she began her blog post with the Kentucky Herald-Leader.

"As my makeup collection grew and my self-esteem continued to shrink, I wondered: Did the makeup help?

"Makeup is only part of today's beauty culture, but it is especially relevant because it is used almost exclusively by women.

"I decided to conduct an experiment. I allowed myself one more glamorous, long-lashed, red-lipped night out for New Year's Eve. Then, beginning Jan. 1, I put away my bag of cosmetics for a year."

Garau said she has felt 'embarrassed' and 'uncomfortable' while attending college parties, found that fewer men talked to her and has even been encouraged by her friends to try cover-up and cheat on a bad skin day.

"I was often tempted to quit," she added. "As a 20-year-old college student at Indiana University, I spent many weekends at fraternity parties surrounded by intimidatingly beautiful young women.

"My friends were right that no one would really know if I cheated. Even if they did, they probably wouldn't care.

"I felt uncomfortable, undesirable and embarrassed when we went to these parties or when I saw myself in photos. I felt as if people were treating me differently, and according to research I read about in Nancy Etcoff's book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty (Anchor Books), I might have been right."

After day 200 on her quest, the aspiring journalist said that while she hasn't necessarily grown more confident in her appearance, she has begun to focus less on her image.

"As the days went by, I didn't exactly become happier with my appearance, but I did spend less time thinking about it," she said.

"Discussing things you don't like about yourself is always a good conversation-starter in a group of girls. Each girl tries to top the other. Throbbing zit beats frizzy hair which beats too small of a thigh gap.

"I am not against makeup, but I am against the feeling that I have to change my face to feel good about myself. If you think you couldn't possibly try my experiment, then it would probably be a good experience for you too, even if just for a week.

"I still don't exactly see myself as beautiful, but I care a whole lot less."

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