Are #NOMAKEUP Selfies the Problem?

I’m in my sixth hour of waiting for a Hermes delivery, and therefore I have lots of time to do something I’m rather good at- thinking. Because I’ve decided I find #NoMakeup selfies really annoying.

Or should I say, I find the execution of #NoMakeup selfies really annoying; the idea behind them is actually pretty valuable. In a world where women are expected to paint their faces in Deep Throat (thanks NARS) and Label Whore (apparently Too Faced are at it as well), it’s a refreshing change to see some fresh faced babes gracing the internet, I just don’t think they’re fresh faced enough. Especially the celeb versions.

If makeup less selfies are supposed to remind us that everyone looks a bit dodgy underneath, then surely filtering, airbrushing and adding some natural powder to make sure your photo is flawless, defeats the object. In fact, this only makes people feel more insecure. At least when I watch the Milk $ video I know that everyone looks spicy because they each have 3 makeup artists, 4 hair stylists and a personal trainer behind the scenes, I know that if I had those things, I too could look like (a considerably uncooler and less booby) Chrissy Teigen. Most importantly, I know that at the end of the day, unless they’ve got some pore clogging fetish, these women will wipe their makeup off and look as tan-lined, acne-ridden and puffy as me.

But when you look just as nice and claim it’s natural, suddenly I’m terrified. And this means I’m terrified a lot considering there seems to be very few ugly #NoMakeup selfies out there. When people angle their faces to hide acne or sepia a photo to hide the uneven skin tone, it implies that these irritating yet completely normal things should be hidden, that these attributes aren’t worth sharing with your followers, and that encourages more people to act the same, embarrassed way. Plus, it makes makeup free seem exclusive, like you can only do it if you’re naturally stunning, which isn’t the point either.

How will we ever know what normal people look like, if we spend our lives airbrushing all the normal out? This isn’t to slate (ew slates make me cringe, I hate it when you go to a fancy restaurant n they serve your dinner on a slate like if I wanted to eat my food from the pavement I wouldn’t be paying your service charge, would I?) everyone who’s uploaded one of these, in fact no specific photo triggered these thoughts, I simply wish my reaction upon seeing a #NoMakeup selfie could go from wow I’m so glad you look great ‘without’ makeup thanks for making the rest of us feel like shite to the happiness I feel at the bare faced blogger at the start of every YouTube makeup tutorial. Confession: often I watch makeup tutorials just to remind myself what natural faces look like. It’s so easy to forget.

So Teamales, what are your thoughts? Are makeupless photos an important part of diversity? Or do you understand people’s fears at not wanting to look gross online, even if it’s more realistic? Comment below for some feminist fun.

P.S. I have tried out a shorter (oops still almost 6oo words) post this week- my ideas can urban sprawl into 900+ words and that’s probably too much to read, so feel free to tell me what you think of the conciser approach.

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21 thoughts on “Are #NOMAKEUP Selfies the Problem?

  1. Kyia Belle ♡ (@wanderlustkyia) says:

    I think that it is so important for girls (or boys!) to feel confident in their own skin. It’s almost like Youtube is the better place to go for this because photos can be retouched when you least expect it, and videos aren’t. I love it when real people (not retouched) post photos of themselves, whether that be body or face, as they are confident with themselves. A lot of celebrities most of the time have people behind the camera, even when they say don’t (Kim, Kyile, etc). I loved this post 🙂 x

    http://wanderlustgirl-kb.blogspot.ca

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jess says:

      Thank you! I agree, I’m a big fan of makeup tutorials on YouTube because they’re so honest about the makeup they’re using and how it’s working to overcome specific problems like spots (which they show on camera). Sometimes you even get a cheeky ‘before and after’ which is really great to present makeup as makeup, opposed to natural. If only celebrities followed suit eh? x

      Like

  2. Erin says:

    THIS POST IS BLOODY BRILLIANT! Sorry, but that had to be said in all caps 😂 Every word you’ve said is true and I for one am too self consious to post a selfie of any sorts of social media because of the pressure I feel, never mind a no makeup one! A lot of young girls don’t understand airbrushing and the money celebs have to make their faces look like this, and I was one of them. Preach it!!

    Erin ✨ theroshabeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Thank you!! This is deffo a caps friendly zone espesh when you’re as much of a babe as you. I feel exactly the same, I’m way too conscious for selfies (I literally change my profile pic once a year when I manage to find a nice one and then pester all my friends until they like it so I don’t look like a loner). It’s so hard to sort the real from the fake these days, let alone when things that are fake are branded as makeupless or natural. The media lies to us enough so it’s annoying when people do so too! Thanks for preachin with me b xo

      Like

  3. boilersuitbabe says:

    YES GIRL! You said it! I feel the exact same. Like when I post a naked face selfie it’s literally my oilslick of a face. But when potential role models do it and they have perf hair or they’ve had their eyebrows done or something like I rly cannot afford to look flawless with a naked face. I’m all for real naked face selfies and sharing the love making my fellow humans feel fab with a cute comment. But as for celebs with like 485869605 people making them look amazing everyday, like we’re never gonna look that way and it can be disheartening. I guess all we can do is raise more awareness about how the media photoshops things and how celebs literally have like 10 people making them look good. Not everyone has that ❤ fab post girl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Drink to THAT! We endorse celebrity culture enough when they’re in makeup but I’m seeing more glamorisation of them without it- when I went to find the pics for this post, Cosmopolitan had done a ’60 celebs who look flawless without makeup’ gallery and (as much as I love Cosmo) I just wanted to ring them like BABS this isn’t the point. Most of the photos weren’t even fully bare faced which is equally dangerous because we’re setting an unrealistic standard for girls, but ultimately no makeup should be a place to just chill and let your skin breathe, not something that gets judged for looking good or not. Women don’t have to look good all the time and for me, pretty no makeup selfies imply that they do. Thanks for being all preachy hands with me b ❤️ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rebecca Dennison says:

    I totally agree with this! Young girls are often unaware of how these celebrities can use their money in order to change their face – botox/expensive facials or treatments that cost more than what most of us make in a day. It provides unrealistic goals for young girls x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      I didn’t even think of Botox! Omg but that’s so true. So much more goes on behind the scenes for celebs faces that we realise so their no makeup selfies are still basically the iOS 9 update of any average person. I was thinking the other day, the only time we see celebrities with acne is when they’re in spot cream adverts, telling you how to get rid of it, and it’s moments like these that contribute to this apparent aim of the media to make everyone feel as uncomfortable in their own skin as they can. Breaks my heart x Thanks for reading b

      Like

  5. emilyjanemay says:

    don’t take this wring but you are totally just venting your own insecurities onto people who can still look lovely with no makeup on. just because it’s a no makeup selfie doesn’t mean they have to look bad xx

    Like

    • Jess says:

      I’m just pointing out that I’ve never seen an ugly no makeup selfie, ever, which is a pretty interesting thing to point out. Things like that don’t just happen by coincidence. How are we supposed to feel confident with acne or uneven skin tones, if these things are hidden away and airbrushed out?
      Exploring what these photos say about our society, and the effect they have on their audiences, isn’t ‘venting’ it’s simply questioning the world we live in. I’m not an ‘insecure’ person, I’m simply discussing an issue that is clearly very relatable, looking at the comments and tweets I’ve had about this post.
      Thanks for reading x

      Like

      • emilyjanemay says:

        i have quite a few friends who dont wear makeup all the time, post pics & dont give a crap….look for people like that, they make you feel more confident by default! maybe working in a hospital with wounds and guys all day makes me see the world from a different perspective 🙂 x

        Like

      • Jess says:

        Yeah and that’s my point too! The media should be full of more people who care less and use the tag to show what they really look like, instead of to make other people feel worse (even if this is only done by default or comparisons).
        Just because you have a different perspective doesn’t mean that these things don’t exist, and it’s really inconsiderate to act as if they don’t matter just because they don’t affect you? I appreciate your interest in the post but I’m finding your tone quite patronising ngl and I’m not really a fan of that.

        Like

  6. katpeskett says:

    Really interesting points there! I remember when the no makeup selfies were going around facebook and I was dreading getting tagged because everyone looked so stunning in theirs. Probably not quite the effect it was supposed to acheive…haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Yess! I felt exactly the same- which is quite bad considering one was actually raising money for cancer research oops- and that’s why I think it’s so important to discuss these things. It’s as if we can’t escape striving for the most visually perfect versions of ourselves, which in turn pressures our friends/family/viewers to do the same and I’m not sure if that’s particularly progressive? Thank you for reading x

      Like

    • Jess says:

      Yeah I definitely agree, makeup should always be a choice but for me this post was more about the representation of ‘no makeup’ than which side of the makeup wearing fence people sit on.
      I feel like if everyone pictured without wearing makeup is absolutely stunning then that in itself discourages people from going make-up free, aka pressures girls into wearing makeup (which, like you, is something I hate). So it’s all kind of connected x

      Like

    • Jess says:

      Ha exactly! I feel a lil bitchy for saying it but tbh I do think you should consider how others feel when you post a no makeup selfie. If you’re confident enough to do it then that’s fab but if you’re going to make it look super perf beforehand then you’re denying all your viewers of feeling that same kick ass body posi way because they feel like they don’t look as good as you? It’s emosh and I’m conflicted (as usual) x

      Liked by 1 person

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