#TheHaggening: Bring Back Fresh-Faced Beauty

I’m sure most of you have heard of MakeApp by now, the app that removes makeup on women in pictures. Men are hailing this as leveling the playing field, as women can’t hide behind makeup on Tinder or Bumble any longer. 4chan has labeled it #TheHaggening, finally showing that most women look like pale goblins without makeup. On the feminist side, women are calling this app “problematic,” saying that they “don’t owe you [their] bare faces,” and think that Makeapp is “offensive.” After reading opinions on both sides, I was confused. While the app isn’t perfect (it functions like a filter, so for some it adds splotches where there are none), the reaction seems ridiculous. Why the outrage over a makeup removal filter?

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It seems many women, especially those who draw on a new face every day (I’m sure we’ve all seen the contouring before and afters) feel like they’ve been stripped naked for all to see. It’s been incredible seeing the same women who hamster saying they wear makeup for themselves and no one else turn around and claim that seeing women barefaced is shaming them or that it’s taking away the choice of showing a made-up face to the world. Suddenly, the same women who claim all women are beautiful are angry that the curtain has been pulled back, angry at having their natural features shown. If all women were beautiful as they say, this shouldn’t matter. It should be just a benign difference, being seen with or without makeup if makeup is just an art form or a way to express yourself. It shouldn’t have caused this feminist screeching. We are seeing Caliban seeing his own face in the mirror. Women are faced with the reality that they’ve rationalized away for themselves, that their SMV (sexual market value) isn’t as high as they were pretending it was. They see uneven skin tones, dark circles, bloated faces from hard nights out and hate what they see. But they pretend that they don’t.

Now, I don’t hate makeup. I often wear eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. But I can’t deny that these things make my eyes look bigger and more awake, thus making me look prettier. This app should be seen as an aid to women, not some some sort of major downfall. Women could use the app to get rid of the new contoured, overlined lip, impossibly perfect eyebrows standard that costs a lot of time and money. We could use it to bring back natural beauty. But instead the hamster persists.

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Many women act like the skin they have must be hidden, yet healthy, glowing skin is an incredible asset. Because I don’t wear much makeup, I focus on skincare, working to keep my skin clear and moisturized. I do face masks, ($1 Korean sheet masks are my best friend), make sure I keep my diet clean, drink tons of water, drink very rarely, and don’t drink much when I do. I can go barefaced with confidence because I know my skin is clear, glowing, and the best it can be because I take care of myself. I actually find I get more attention from men when not wearing makeup than when I do! Men love a fresh-faced look, with or without some makeup.

But, I challenge you: go without makeup for one, two, or even three weeks. Focus on your health by exercising, eating more vegetables and homemade meals (nothing boxed!), and drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. I’ll go barefaced for a week or more in solidarity. Get used to your natural face if you usually hide it and embrace your natural beauty! For those hamstering, it’s not healthy to always hide your real face. No matter how confident you think you are, if the thought of leaving the house without makeup scares you, give up using it for a while. Bring back fresh faces, natural beauty!

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