The Renfrew Center Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the research, education, prevention, and awareness of eating disorders wanted to understand how women feel when they're not wearing makeup, so the organization conducted a survey.
It turns out, most of us feel bad. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Renfrew Center Foundation, surveyed 1,292 women ages 18 and older and found that 44 percent of women experienced "negative feelings" when they weren't wearing makeup: 16 percent reported that they felt unattractive; 14 percent responded that they felt self-conscious; and 14 percent admitted they felt naked or as though something was missing without makeup.
Alarmed by the results, The Renfrew Center Foundation created the Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within Campaign (which launched yesterday in conjunction with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week) to start a dialogue about inner beauty and healthy body image and why it is that so many women feel so bad about themselves.
"People are detached from their bodies," Adrienne Ressler, National Training Director for The Renfrew Center Foundation, says. "Most people are bombarded by so many images per day that we lose touch with the signals in our own bodies, we lose touch with our true selves."
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This is not to say that wearing makeup causes disordered eating, and in fact, Ressler stresses that it's important not to conflate the two. Just because someone wears a lot of makeup doesn't mean he or she is at risk for developing an eating disorder. Conversely, some men and women who suffer from eating disorders have never worn makeup a day in their lives. Rather, it's when makeup goes from being a "tool of enhancement" to a "security blanket that conceals negative feelings about one's self-esteem and self-image," Ressler says, that those feelings may set the stage for a pattern of disordered eating.
The campaign encourages women to go without makeup for a day or the entire week until March 3rd. Do you think you could do it? I couldn't—I wear makeup every day and the thought of leaving the house yesterday morning or today made me feel, well, not good. Maybe I'll try it tomorrow.
Why do you think so many women feel bad about themselves without makeup on? How big of a role do you think body image plays in eating disorders?