Natural is a hard word to define these days, especially when it comes to beauty and looks. What one person deems natural for them would make someone else uncomfortable in their own skin. Hollywood, always quick to make a buck and feel our feelings for us, has been out to define “natural” for some time.
They tell us how to apply “natural” make up, which typically includes primer, concealer, foundation and powder. They promote “natural” magazine covers, a la Lady Gaga, and define “natural” as not wearing make up. For some of us that might be true, for some of us it might not (for me, wearing mascara at all times is pretty natural), but I think we can all agree that a woman who isn’t wearing makeup but whose image is airbrushed isn’t really…natural.
I’m not criticizing Lady Gaga’s choice to pose without make up, and in fact, I think it is refreshing to see someone from Hollywood admitting that they don’t need make up to grace a magazine cover. However, I think many women today would agree that not-wearing make up isn’t exactly groundbreaking- many of us never wear make up, or only put it on for special occasions. If we are going to see “natural” magazine covers and even “natural” make up, I’d like to see it without retouching. I’m not the only one who thinks that airbrushing and Photoshopping have gotten out of control, the United Kingdom recently banned two L’Oreal advertisements featuring Julia Roberts & Christy Turlington because they were “overly airbrushed.” Finally, a breath of fresh air!
I know some people don’t mind a little retouching here and there, to make their head-shot pop, to smooth out a monster zit or fix some hair gone crazy in a gust of wind. We’ve even written a little bit about photo editing and fixing our flaws. And while I don’t have the time or skills to edit any photos of mine, I’m not criticizing people who do like to edit something they don’t like- but I don’t think we can look at photos like that and define them as “natural.” Furthermore, when every photo we see in magazines and on the news are edited, we lose sight of how people really look, in the day to day. None of us will ever feel good enough because we have no idea what people really look like, and we forget that we all wake up with bed head and morning breath.
In an effort to help define natural without Hollywood’s help, (and to remind everyone that we don’t have to be airbrushed to be beautiful) the women of the Curvy Girl Guide are defining their natural and showing you, unedited (obviously) how it looks:
Katie says: This is me, first thing in the morning- without make up- and a ponytail. I hate wearing make up so if you see me on the weekend I can promise I won’t’ be wearing any.
Angie says: Most of my day is spent on the computer at home while my kids are at school and my husband is at work. For me, home is where I feel most comfortable, and being that I’ve never been someone who was overly-concerned with makeup or hair products (or style), I don’t put on makeup or fix my hair until I leave the house. Even then, it’s normally just a ponytail, some foundation, and mascara. This is me – no makeup, no re-touching, au naturel.
Tena says: Twenty years ago, you wouldn’t have been able to pay me enough to leave the house (or share a picture, for that matter) of me straight out of the shower. I guess old age has made me more comfortable in my own natural skin (or just too lazy to put on make-up, who knows.) My definition of natural these days is pretty much straight from the shower, like in this photo… I have on day old mascara, moisturizer, and Carmex.
Here I am…wearing mascara and chapstick because I *always* wear mascara and chapstick, but my hair is a whole other story. It is long and curly and on day three of no washing it starts looking a little worse for wear, as evidenced here. You can’t brush curls, so for me on day three you are lucky if I finger-comb it before putting a bobby in my bangs and calling it good.
Allison says: Carpool, no make up, heading to get coffee. You don’t get more natural than this!
Maria says: This is me at 11 am, after errands and school drop off. I literally don’t wear any makeup at all until I’m going out or doing something special. It’s actually rare lately if I remember to brush my hair before I head out the door with the boys in the morning. I wear a tee shirt and jeans and flip flops 99% of the time.
Jenny Grace says: This is me, no makeup whatsoever, hair totally without product and desperately in need of a comb and a fresh dye job. My freckle mustache is on full display, as are my stubby eyelashes and forehead wrinkles. I even left my eyebrows unpenciled -I have very scanty eyebrows.
Holly says: I’m not one to wear much makeup regardless of where I’m going and what I’m doing. This is pretty much my look minus a little eyeshadow if I’m feeling fancy. I have on a bit of blush and some powder to keep the shine at bay. I’m also wearing a touch of mascara. That’s the extent of my makeup routine. I have some styling clay in my hair to give it some spikiness since my hair is super fine and needs some assistance to get that lift going. That is my actual hair color as evidenced by all the flecks of gray visible. This is my natural.
Feeling inspired yet? Good! Because now it’s your turn! Add a picture to our Project Real: Defining Natural Flickr group showing us your natural and why you rock it!
Daisy is a lawyer married to a lawyer (insert lawyer jokes here) living in a small condo in a big city with a new baby and beagle. She breaks up the legal-speak by blogging about life in Chicago, which is filled with escapades of urban living. In the summer she enjoys patio dining and in the winter wonders what she was thinking when she moved here. You can read more from Daisy on her blog, Just Daisy.