By Emily Balser, Point Park News Service:
More Pittsburgh women are going out barenaked thanks to one local blogger.
Terra McBride, who writes the blog Stylish White Female, is challenging women across the city and beyond to push down makeup barriers and embrace their bare face.
She launched the #barenaked campaign, asking women to submit self-portraits. She has three rules: no makeup, no filters and no hiding behind hair or shadows. Readers can send their photos to McBride so she can post them on the blog.
“I was washing my face before bed one night, and my mind was wandering,” McBride said. “And I just thought about how I was really glad that no one could see me without makeup on. Then I thought, ‘Well, that’s unfortunate.’”
McBride, 35, started thinking about why she felt like she didn’t want anyone to see her without makeup – and what could be done to change her feelings and those of other women who felt the same way.
“I talk a lot about women feeling confident in themselves and loving who they are,” she said. “I talk a good game, and I will readily admit that I, myself, don’t practice what I preach.”
McBride knew she had a platform to discuss this with other women on her blog. As she was lying down in bed after washing her face that night, the idea to call it the #barenaked campaign came to her. She then decided to write the initial blog post calling for readers to submit photos.
“I thought this was a great way to take real women, without fancy cameras and lighting and makeup and just say, ‘Your bare-naked face is beautiful, and you should embrace it and be happy with it,’” she said.
About 50 women submitted photos, and she hopes to keep receiving them. Women sent photos and notes telling McBride how happy they were that she started the campaign. She said she enjoys showing off other people on her blog besides the usual photos of herself.
“I go back, and I look at those photos, and I just I think that the best part is knowing that several of those women have said exactly what I was thinking that first night,” she said. “That all they were focusing on was their flaws and I had the chance to say to them, ‘You are beautiful.”
One of the blog readers, Melinda Urick, 36, said she was surprised and pleased by the range of photos submitted, including her own. Urick said she began wearing makeup in fourth or fifth grade, but her relationship with makeup changed since she experimented with it as a young girl.
“Basically I’m in my late 30s, and it’s been a growing concern of mine, personally, as my face has been aging,” she said.
Urick said a challenge with makeup this year, especially, was finding out that she had skin cancer on her face. She said she now has a small scar on the side of her nose that she feels the need to cover up.
“Now I wear makeup to look like I’m not wearing makeup and that’s been one of the biggest challenges,” she said. “It’s definitely more of a chore. I don’t have as much fun with makeup as I used to.”
Urick writes her own blog, 30-Something Therapy where she discusses issues of aging – something not many women have an outlet to talk about. She said she is glad McBride started this effort to lift women up and help them conquer the issue of wearing makeup.
“I really appreciate that she started a project like that so we can be more self-aware and more encouraging to each other,” Urick said.
Aubrianne O’Donnell, 25, said she doesn’t feel pressure from society to wear makeup, but does wear it occasionally.
“I don’t really care if I don’t (wear makeup),” she said.
She said she understands that some women feel the need to wear it, including some women she knows, but she said making an issue out of wearing it or not seems “a little bit silly.”
Amanda Schilling, 24, also doesn’t mind not wearing makeup in public, but she said that there are some situations where she feels some pressure to wear it.
“I can’t go to work without makeup,” she said.
The blog isn’t meant to give the impression that it is bad to wear makeup, McBride said. Instead, she wants women to stop thinking, “Thank goodness no one can see my face,” when they aren’t wearing makeup.
”If we could get more women to just push a little bit and feel a little bit uncomfortable,” McBride said, “I think that’s the way you can start to realize a little bit of change.”