Close to half of women think they're ugly without makeup

It hasn't been a great week for women's self-esteem. (Then again, when is it ever?) First, we find out that women are less likely to use condoms the longer they're in college. And now, on a possibly related note, close to half of women dislike their faces without makeup. 

The survey, conducted by The Renfrew Center Foundation, found nearly half of the women linked their "bare face" with being unattractive. 14% of women polled said they felt naked without makeup. And a quarter of women started wearing makeup between the ages of eleven and thirteen. Hey, ladies need to cover up those wrinkles early — the sooner you master the art of disliking your natural appearance, the quicker you can move onto a-husband-catchin.'

The Renfrew Center Foundation is an organization dedicated to fighting eating disorders, but has smartly made the link to non-weight-related image issues. The Foundation is going to sponsor a national campaign called "Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within." While the name's a little after-school-special, the idea is cool — as part of the campaign, they're encouraging women to post barefaced pictures of themselves on Facebook. 

Oh, and by the way, when you start typing the word "celebrities" into Google images, the second suggestion is "celebrities without makeup." There's also many a website dedicated to the shaming of their bare if botoxed faces. Maybe this is an obsession we all need to work on, if only for the sake of the lipstick-wearing eleven-year-olds. 

Commentarium (13 Comments)

Feb 29 12 - 3:56pm
IAMINTERNET

Your "suggested articles" suggest mild hypocrisy, Nerve:
http://imgur.com/cghOp

Feb 29 12 - 5:10pm
Koco

I have to disagree. The article points out that searching for pictures of celebrities without makeup may stem from unhealthy insecurities. Having said that, pointing out the fact that Angelina Jolie or her "handlers" are feeling such pressure for her to look perfect that they are lying about her use of makeup, or linking pictures of unrecognizable, makeup free supermodels can only help women with low self-esteem see the truth. The glossy pictures in magazines do not represent reality. Being aware of that is, for many, the first step towards self acceptance.

Feb 29 12 - 4:31pm
Indy

Perhaps this will help?

Dear women:
- Men like the way you look without makeup. Seriously.
- Many men think you look ridiculous the more makeup you put on.
- Many men like your breast size the way it is. We'd rather feel them instead of plastic.

Finally: It ultimately doesn't matter what many men like or don't like, what TV, the web, or your female friends like: You are better in the long run without strange modifications that please others.

OK, that's enough.

--A Random Guy

Feb 29 12 - 5:00pm
LL

Dear Random Guy: Thank you so much for clearing that up. Thanks for speaking to all women on behalf of that cohesive entity known as men. There is sooo much evidence to back up your assertion that all men prefer barefaced women with average-looking bodies. I for one buy Maxim just to get a self-esteem boost. Not only that, you were right to assume that all the subtle societal pressures that prey on the low self-esteem of women can be distilled into one line of thought: "how can I give the most boys an erection?" But that way of thinking can be thrown to the wind now. Because as you say in you closing, it "doesn't matter what many men think", even though you also assert that "men" like the way women look without makeup. Huh?
I'm not trying to be terrible. I know that was harsh, and I know you probably thought you were doing something nice by posting that comment. But few things are as annoying as individual men telling women, "don't worry, this is what we like. You can love yourself!"

Feb 29 12 - 5:59pm
with Random Guy

LL, he's got a point. What he didn't say is what Van M. did, "All the girls walk by, dressed up for each other..." The dirty secret is that "the media" which portrays women in unnatural "perfection" is run by and for women.

You were harsh, and your sarcasm completely uncalled for. I'd like to know what it is you find annoying about an individual man saying what he did. It seems heartfelt and supportive to me.

One thing I find really annoying is women who wholeheartedly accept that improvements in women's lives in the past generation (those that my mother and her contemporaries suffered mightily for), while completely glossing over the fact that they also have some accountability, and may even need to relinquish some of the long-held notions of what the perks of being a woman are. Sigh. It'll probably take another generation or two for that to sink in, if it ever does.

Feb 29 12 - 9:52pm
LL

Yes a lot of women are complicit in (and profit from) a mainstream media that demolishes the self-esteem of women. And I acknowledged that what I said was harsh; I thought sarcasm was the best way to point out some of the assumptions random guy was inadvertently making (which are the same assumptions magazines make when they tell us what "men" like and don't like, or run contradictory articles about how we need to love ourselves next to ads featuring air brushed models). However, I do apologize to random guy because, as I previously acknowledged, he probably thought his comments were comforting. As for your point:

"One thing I find really annoying is women who wholeheartedly accept that improvements in women's lives in the past generation (those that my mother and her contemporaries suffered mightily for), while completely glossing over the fact that they also have some accountability, and may even need to relinquish some of the long-held notions of what the perks of being a woman are."

If you are referring to me, I'd like to know exactly which "perks of being a woman" I refuse to relinquish. Seriously, if there was something hypocritical in my comment, I would like to know what it was.

Feb 29 12 - 11:47pm
with Random Guy

How is making sanctimonious, presumptuous, sarcastic comments about what seems to be a sincere post for starters? Comments, and attitude like that are like mice; where there's one, there are probably more. Big Red Flag!

Mar 01 12 - 6:43am
w

Random Guy was totally right. many surveys have shown that more men like the "natural" look of a women better, too much makeup do scare them off. sometimes it seems women put on ridiculous makeup to please other women.

Mar 01 12 - 12:34pm
Rachel

I know Random Guy was trying to be helpful and sincere, but I totally disagree with the idea that men like women without makeup. I think men buy into the concept of feminine beauty involving nice dresses, heels, and plenty of makeup. The type of women that get lots of attention from men are usually the type that take the time to do up their face. I can't imagine that a girl showing up at a bar without any makeup would be very popular.

I think part of that might be that women just feel more confident about themselves when they are wearing makeup and that confidence is attractive and sexy.

One thing that often annoys me is when a guy I've been seeing for awhile makes comments about my makeup. It's usually in the morning when I'm getting ready and he thinks I'm taking too much time getting ready. I often get the comment that I look fine without makeup. There's like this weird pressure to be both pretty and low maintenance. It annoys me not only because I feel hassled, but because my face with makeup on is how I choose to present myself. My face with makeup on is the one they were attracted to when they first hit on me anyways. And I'm pretty sure they would never have approached me in the first place if I was wearing any makeup.

Mar 03 12 - 11:01am
Indy

"The type of women that get lots of attention from men are usually the type that take the time to do up their face. I can't imagine that a girl showing up at a bar without any makeup would be very popular."

No, all things considered, women that are physically in good shape (which takes work at the gym and nutrition, but possible for 99% of the human population) are attractive. How you wear your clothes that accentuate your figure is also attractive. Note I didn't say dress with body parts hanging out, but if I can see a shape or suggestion of a shape... wow, that is HOT.

Women that are funny and intelligent are also attractive. I personally like a woman that has a sense of humor that rivals my own.

I think you've bought into the makeup bullshit, and that is sad. Too much makeup is an immediate turn-off, and I dare say far too many women think that overdoing it is better than not doing it at all. As a male, I disagree with that statement. I find the women on the cover of cosmo and Maxim rediculous, and I'm a male that really likes women and the female form.

I also don't want to taste lipstick and other products if I kiss you on the mouth or face.

In short: I think you are wearing makeup unnecessarily.

Mar 01 12 - 7:16pm
with Random Guy

@ Rachel, It seems that you're saying that you don't believe what men here (and elsewhere) are saying. I'm am always relieved to go on a first date and see that the woman is not wearing makeup beyond a bit of lipstick. Always! It's also a shame to see women in their 20s and 30s wearing foundation when it is clear that they have beautiful skin underneath it. I think wearing heels is fine; once in awhile for dress up occasions. I also know a few women who are physically incapable of wearing anything but heels because they have been wearing them for so long their calf muscles have shortened so much they must wear heels.

Mar 07 12 - 7:13pm
skewed

these comments from dudes, while well-intentioned (?), are pointless, because studies have shown that what most men think of as a "no-makeup look" actually takes like 20 minutes and 10 products. most men can't detect many different types of makeup; i think what they think of here is of taylor momsen panda eyes, or tons of gloppy lipstick, not the un-made-up look that we're so good at they have no ideaaaa

Mar 22 12 - 11:42pm
Agree with skewed

I agree with the comment above! When most men think of women with makeup - they are picturing women on magazine covers, or women who wear a lot of make-up (or are dressed up for some special occasion or some such). There is different types of make up & you can either put on a lot or very little. I feel like men who say they don't like women with makeup prefer the natural look - a little foundation, some concealer, or whatever else you need to look natural. When they refer to women who wear makeup - they're thinking eye shadow, a mask of foundation, fake eye lashes, etc.

A bit of make up actually helps most women, I have dark circles under my eyes so I need to wear concealer everyday, and prefer a bit of eyeliner too. Some women dislike their eyelashes, so they might use a bit of mascara, or a little foundation to even out blotchy skin. It just depends. I think even men who say they dont like make-up on women would prefer women who wear make-up to look natural. Personally I wear a bit of make-up on a regular basis to help me feel confident. When I look good, I feel good!