Oversized Knitted Tiffany Blue Sweater (tucked): Zara | White Bandage Skirt: Miss Selfridge | Silver Sandals: Marni x H&M (same as here) | Silver Bag: Louis Vuitton | Necklace: Claire’s | Bangle: Hermes | Junior Men’s Watch: Rolex
I know I said previously that I was going to keep this blog fashion-centric, but for this particular post, I’ve decided to make an exception. If you follow me closely via my social media accounts then you’re most likely aware of the #SeeTheRealMe advocacy that I’ve been pushing. A few days ago, I posted a few somewhat “controversial realfies” but I’ll get on to that in a bit.
Just a quick “by-the-way”, this was the outfit set I wore on the same day that I took my “realfie.” I actually put very minimal makeup on, just eyeliner on the top and bottom lashes but no lipstick. I mean, sure, I took a bare-faced selfie that morning but I wasn’t really sure I was ready to go to work without a stitch of makeup. Like most women, I have a lot of insecurities–even if I’m told that my skin is great, I still feel that it’s rough to touch… and don’t even get me started with my dark circles! Que terrible!
So bear with me. Anyway, I originally posted this story at the Iconoclasts tumblr but I think it’s worth sharing over here too. So over the last few days, I took part in the #SeeTheRealMe digital advocacy that encourages women to go out of their comfort zones by removing ALL their makeup and posting it as profile photos, instagram and twitter posts.
I took my #realfie photo last July 9, after my morning run–now the reason why I did this was because (based on experience) after doing strenuous cardio, I always get a healthy flush. As a child, my gauge for “pretty” was when you had rosy cheeks. Likewise, I’m a firm believer that girls look their best after exercising–nevermind the sweat! Next, I took a photo of myself inside my bathroom where the lighting was bright and even. I wish I could say I snapped one photo and it was the greatest because “Oh-My-God, I’m-so-pretty” but… no, I took around 10 (or maybe a hundred) and narrowed it down to 3.
Of course, I still stuck it on with the rules of having no makeup (as in bare face with no trace) as this was the crucial point of the campaign. Just because I did, however, doesn’t mean I didn’t work my way around the rules–I did with my induced flush and beautiful lighting, because I felt that the backlash would probably be tenfolds if I decided to snap a photo of me the moment I roll out of bed with drool on my face.
For comparison, this is how I look like with cosmetics. This is my full makeup regalia complete with primer and foundation–something I normally do not put on unless I attend major events. See, I am deathly afraid of foundation… based on experience, having it on for more than 6 hours can cause major breakouts for me. Seeing as I have really sensitive skin (I’ve been battling with severe eczema for the past 6 years), I really have to stick to a hypo-allergenic regimen.
So the truth of the matter is, I have no makeup on. I wish I did. I wish you could all come see me so you can rub my face with sanitary wipes to prove a point but, for now, you’ll just have to take my word for it. On a normal day, I am heavily reliant with the following makeup items:
- Lipstick – because I feel my lips are usually pale and dry
- Concealer – because I have huge eye-bags and under-eye circles
- Eyeliner – for the illusion of thick lashes
- Eyebrow Pencil – My eyebrows aren’t very shapely
- Eyeshadow – to cover again the circles, I usually use pink
If it seems like I have eyeliner on in the photo, it is because I have eyelash extensions. I’ve been consistently getting them for the past 3 years, having them re-touched every 3 weeks. That is as far as enhancements for me go–it’s also the cheapest (I don’t think I can afford botox or lip injections yet). Likewise, I use prestige eyeliner (I have been using it for the past 5 years) in dark brown and since the tip is really thick, I can only make 1mm precise lines. As far as thin lines go, it is physically impossible for my tool to do so (and I never really saw the point in putting on thin lines… the point of makeup is to be seen, right? So why put something on when it isn’t really obvious?).
So today, I posted the same photo above over at instagram. No filter, just frames. I figured, the smaller my photo looked, the less chances people would see my eye luggages.
Did I foresee negative comments? Yes, when I told my officemates I was going to take the challenge, I even warned: “Wait for the haters with fake accounts!” I’ve had similar experiences over at www.konichiwear.com, my fashion blog, and my joint ASK.FM account with JL that I’m immune to it already.
I still went on with it because I felt that the campaign was the perfect case study on how women can be so unforgiving and mean to one another. Besides, the advocacy was a GREAT cause, promoting healthy security amongst women and all.
I figured, if people doubt me, they must be on cosmic levels smoking up whatever it is apart from polluted smog, to think that I would so much as take an effort to post a made-up selfie and claim it to be a “realfie” when it entails way too much effort and… I’m no stranger to actually posting made-up selfies previously.
And lo and behold…
First of all, don’t get me wrong, I was not bothered–these were people who didn’t know me and who had never seen me in person. It took a while for me to get to this point but if you’re in the fashion blogging circuit, you really need to have a thick face. Besides, I have good friends, family, and co-workers who’ve seen me with AND without makeup: sweaty, sick, and having just woke up. Although I don’t look that insanely different with makeup, I can stand to look better and more polished with it.
I chose to respond to these people because I felt that it was my duty to correct their notions and to preach the core message of “empowering women.” I’ve always believed that the source of insecurity of women in regards to their physical appearances stemmed from mostly other women–not exactly just men–because they fall under harsher scrutiny and often mocked, diminished, and devalued for not fitting into norms… A woman’s worst critic is another woman. Somewhere, out there, someone will always think the worst of you.
My fossil and co-owner of this TUMBLR, Joanna Ladrido, encapsulated my thoughts perfectly:
It is a vicious cycle and a damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t situation. You post a makeup selfie, you’re told you have too much makeup on, but when you post a no-makeup #realfie, you’re told you still have makeup on, when you see these people in person and they realize you indeed have no makeup on, they will come up with some absurd notion to feed their insecurities and their doubts, like: “Oh, she’s had her face done.” What’s wrong with this?
As they say, you can’t please everyone. People live in their own realities and that’s that. But what do we need to do to break barriers? I’m a firm believer in the innate good of people. Just because others aren’t leading by example doesn’t mean we have to altogether discount the humanity in others…I was actually pleasantly surprised to see a lot more encouraging comments from other people.
Some even went as far as to join the challenge!
ETA: The real account that concurred with the fake account apologized and admitted to jumping into conclusions. I was surprised by her honesty and her humility. I guess when there is no negativity in your heart, you can always stand to be corrected. So for everyone else, be a sport and help spread the positivity! Encourage AND empower other women to focus on bettering themselves and correcting their erroneous perspectives. Let us promote confidence and security in our own persons with our capabilities rather than just focus on physical appearances–do so by joining the #SeeTheRealMe campaign. It’s about time we break down some prejudiced norms and learn to encourage one another instead of putting each other down. Remember…
To take this further, I will put my actions into words by:
- Not putting on makeup for the entire week July 12 to July 19
- Post a blog post without makeup (but you’re all still free to speculate)
- Dish out 10 compliments each day for the entire week directed towards women only.
Hope you can all join me and take active measures in promoting a healthy and empowering society for everyone! Yes, I still believe that there will be a few others out there who will remain to be doubtful and I don’t mind, to each her own but I think, instead of coming up with horrible comments that continuously put other people down… why not start from within and perhaps be happy enough not to even care?
Here are more photos of my outfit set:
And now, introducing the powerful message of #SeeTheRealMe campaign, brought to you by Clean & Clear.