Ah! Children In Need. That time of year when everyone embarrasses themselves for charity by doing something that in any other circumstances would be mortifying and/or social suicide. However, this year the stakes have been raised, the challenge is on, the embarrassment factor has reached epic proportions. This year for Children In Need, on 8th November, women can truly do something off the chart mortifying to raise money. They can go out without make-up on. That’s right, women of the UK, forget silly outfits, or dressing up as a camel. This year, if we are brave enough, we can go out “Bearfaced” to raise money for children, with a tiny paw-print on our face, to show that this hideous ugliness that is our actual face, is not something we normally display, but…for the children (said with tears in one’s eyes) we can bravely make such fools of ourselves.
In case you hadn’t realised, my previous paragraph is dripping with sarcasm.
It is a damning indictment on our society that not wearing makeup is considering so embarrassing as to be worthy of being a fundraising activity. It is troubling that a charity which supports children in reaching their potential, often in very challenging circumstances, is promoting this message. Women and girls across the UK are having their self-worth stolen by aggressive marketing, beauty products, toys, TV, films and the music industry. We are then convinced to buy back said self-worth through purchasing the right products and makeup, “because we’re worth it”. Bearfaced makes explicit the messages throughout society which say that women can never “come as they are”, that we are for ever destined to change ourselves to measure up to an unreachable societal standard of beauty that is manufactured by an industry invested in making money, at the expense of people’s health and wellbeing.
So if you see me without makeup on the 8th November, please don’t think I’m taking part in Bearfaced. It’s actually just my face being…well…my face.