A Misapplication of Bravery

“Fortune and love favor the brave.” – Ovid.

There is an obsession lately with this whole “no-makeup” thing.

I am pretty positive that the author of the Metamorphoses was talking about going out in the world not wearing makeup, btw. Those Roman poets were infamous for it. Totes.

Whether in a selfie or otherwise photographed/judged by the world, going bare-faced appears to be the latest form of rebellion for celebrates and regular people alike. (Honestly, I am tempted to call a spade a spade… it’s a publicity stunt.)

We seem to have taken the superficial to a new extreme, claiming that if someone who was in a movie once dares show their makeup-free face to the world that they are ugly/troubled/admirable. Why here is a link to “30 Shocking Celebs Without Makeup!” for your cruel judging pleasure. Look at their gross bare faces and laugh!!!

And don’t even get me started about some Average-Jane doing the same. Ugh, amiright?

**Now is the time to reiterate my propensity towards sarcasm, I believe.**

We seem to be misusing the word “brave” in quite alarming ways. Having a face, with or without makeup on it,  doesn’t merit that term. Cosmetics aren’t courageous.

Let’s start with some definitions, shall we?

Via: lahabitactiondeldudende .com
Via: lahabitactiondeldudende .com


According to Merriam-Webster, it is the following:

  • the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening.

I also found it defined as “courageous behavior or character.”  That’s it.

Is not wearing make-up dangerous?

Are you starting to see my confusion?

Via: boo-bee-trap.blogspot.com
Via: boo-bee-trap.blogspot.com


I don’t tend to read too many People type magazines or follow TMZ, but I did do a bit of Google searching for this blog post. The TODAY show apparently did a “Make-up Free” Monday where all of it’s brave anchors went without make-up. It became news. Check out a story on it here, if you care.

This Fox News anchor went bare-faced on air and was called brave for it.

Look, I applaud these attempts to highlight the rampant sexism and sexualization in media and all that.

I just object to the use of “brave.”


Via: Thirdoptionmen.org
Via: Thirdoptionmen.org


Apparently there is a stat floating around there that women will wait a full month before allowing a new boyfriend to see them without make up. I mean, seriously? And a third of these women think their relationship would fail if their new boy toys saw them in all their ugly bare-faced hideousness before this magical four week window had passed. (Full Article)

I am only going to say this once… you are dating the wrong men. 

Or you could just read this disturbing article about how “No self respecting woman would go out without make-up.”

Perhaps you are all MUCH better at make-up than me. (Likely) I really don’t look that much different with or without, I don’t think. So maybe this negates my ability to argue this point, but still…

It’s not a magical serum or anything. It’s just make-up. Sometimes my hair looks good, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes my outfit is cute, sometimes I am in yoga pants. Sometimes I have makeup on, sometimes not. There really isn’t any mystery to it all.

I am simply a human, who sometimes looks better and sometimes worse. So sue me.

Via: julep.com
Via: julep.com


I don’t care… do makeup, don’t do make-up. Do a little or cake your face (if you have the skills).  But let’s stop using the term bravery in this manner, shall we?

On a general, day-to-day basis, I will admit that I don’t like going out without mascara. I have such pale, pale eyelashes that I basically look like I have none without a little black/brown liquid assistance. I can be happy going out without anything else. As mentioned before, I lack the skills to completely alter my face with makeup.

Professionally speaking, I now tend to wear make-up most days for work. I mean, I am attempting to look like a put together, responsible adult, you guys. Some weeks I do a good Bare-Minerals based daytime face, since it makes me look polished and has spf in it. Some eyeliner, concealer and bronzer and done. Some weeks I do less.

When camping or backpacking, I don’t use make up since it would just rub off anyways and smear with my needed, copious reapplications of sunscreen. (And I like to maintain my low-maintenance front for the world, thankyouverymuch. ) And it just seems silly to have on at these times.

Counterpoint: I also think its fun to get all gussied up and put on tons, as best I can, for nights out or events. Make-up can be fun! Why else are there YouTube / Pinterest makeup tutorials if not for me to attempt and master that smokey cat eye once and for all?

So I don’t get this obsession with vilifying makeup vs no makeup. It’s just NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.

Via: dailymail.co.uk
You do you, Heidi Klum. Via: dailymail.co.uk


Is this an interesting social experiment? Sure, I guess.

Can you learn things about yourself and society by going make-up free?  I am sure, you can. Several interesting articles have been writing recounting firsthand experiences whether it’s for a few days, two weeks or a year without make-up. I think it is perfect for people to talk about on blogs or in a lifestyle piece.

It may be challenging and eye-opening to go without makeup.  But it’s not inherently brave.

Via: questgarden.com
Via: questgarden.com


I realize I am arguing semantics. But word-choice matters.

However, you know what? I am not going to spend any more time ranting about the misapplication of a word onto something trivial when you can read several other very well composed articles on the same subject:

I am feeling lazy both writing and with my face today.  I barely even put on mascara this morning.

Via: cambridgesemantics.com
Via: cambridgesemantics.com

2 thoughts on “A Misapplication of Bravery

  1. Completely agree! If not wearing makeup is brave, I should lead a battle or something cause the only thing I typically wear is mascara for the same reasons you do. And for work I will put on some eye liner, that’s about it. It probably also just in my personality to not care if someone sees me without any on.

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