Mom Who Gave Up Beauty Routine for a Whole Year Basically Gave Up on Herself

Rant 39

hairAfter hearing about a mom named Phoebe Baker-Hyde who gave up her beauty routine for an entire year, I couldn't help but sit back and ask myself whether or not I'd be able to do the same thing.

And when I say she gave up beauty -- I mean she GAVE UP beauty all together. She stopped wearing makeup. She cut her hair super-short so she wouldn't have to style it. She quit using basic things like moisturizers and face creams. And she also stopped dressing in anything remotely stylish, gave up shaving (yikes!), and even went so far as to cover all of the mirrors in her home.

She made the drastic change in an effort to restore her self-esteem after having a baby, and she even wrote a book about her zero-grooming adventure, The Beauty Experiment.

And while she admits that her year long lack of all things beauty made her realize what's truly important, there is absolutely nothing she could say to convince me to try this experiment myself.

More power to her -- and no offense -- but giving up your entire beauty routine is basically the equivalent of completely letting yourself go. And as a mom, I absolutely refuse to let that happen.

Ok, so maybe, just maybe I could forgo makeup for a week or something like that simply to let my skin breathe a bit. But giving up basic things like shaving, blow-drying my hair, and getting dressed with the intention of looking somewhat polished is simply inconceivable to me.

Taking pride in how I look and taking those few extra minutes each day to freshen and pretty myself up before I face the world is not something I take lightly, because it makes me feel good about myself and boosts my self-esteem as a mom.

And yes, I get what Phoebe is saying and I understand that taking care of yourself from within is what's really important, blah, blah, blah. But if you don't put any sort of effort into what's on the outside? Yeah, you might as well hang a sign around your neck that says, "I don't care about how I look because I really don't care about myself at all."

To each his own, I guess. But in my case? Even on my most hurried of mornings, I'll squeeze in the extra time it takes to run a brush through my hair, throw on a little tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss, and at least grab something presentable out of my closet before even thinking of heading out the door. And that's something every mom owes it to herself to do.

Could you give up your entire beauty routine for a year?


Image via Mary Fischer

beauty, hair, makeup


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nonmember avatar Theresa

I couldn't do it, but more power to anyoe who can. I feel good when I look good. It's not about how other people feel about my looks, it's about me.

nonmember avatar Sophia

"I don't care about how I look because I really don't care about myself at all."

To me, it shows me that she's pretty courageous, for doing that. A lot of people can't go out without fixing themselves, and if she can give up her regular beauty treatment for a year that's impressive.

I don't think her doing that, portrays her for letting go of herself, maybe she even feels more confident for not always 'beautifying' herself everyday.

Lisa Schneider

Actually, i think the sign would say "i don't care about how i look because i don't really care what you think about me" good for her for doing this and writing about it. All i can think is that the author of this blog must be incredibly VAIN.

jhslove jhslove

I notice a common theme with your articles, which is that you tend to take the principles and practices that work for you and assume that those same principles and practices should work for everyone and if they don't apply to someone, there must be something wrong with her. It's great that you like to take pride in your appearance and make the time to look presentable. I do, too and like you, I wouldn't be comfortable doing an experiment like this.

But it's ridiculous to say that spending time on your looks is "something every mom owes it to herself to do". What every mom owes to herself is to be true to her own convictions and priorities without having to justify them to anyone else. If that involves looking a certain way, then fine. If not, that's okay too, but it's not for anyone else to judge whether another woman's looks mean that she doesn't care about herself or is somehow missing out on something essential.

the4m... the4mutts

Jhslove- took the words right out of my mouth!

On topic- while I could NEVER stop shaving my legs & pits, I have made it a point to go long periods of time with no makeup, beauty products, hair products... basically stopped everything except hand lotion *for comfort* and deodorant. After I had my 3 y/o, even though I dropped the weight sooo fast, got in shape, and was healthier than ever, I felt tired & ugly. It was a struggle to keep up with 4 kids, exercise, and my beauty routine. So my beauty routine went out the window. I've never been happier, or felt less stressed about life! Now I only use products when I have something important like date night, teacher conferences, etc.

Vegeta Vegeta

I shave everything but what's a beauty routine? I grew up with only guys so this 'inconceivable to go without basic moistureizer' ...I'm like what's moistureizer?

Estel... EstellaHavisham

Meh. This is just by Western beauty ideals. White western beauty ideals at that. I once visited the Museum of Enduring Beauty at The People's Museum in Melaka. It showcases all of the tools used to attain physical beauty in different cultures. I don't know if I can comfortably compare this to a Kayan woman rejecting brass coils, but I guess I can somewhat see her point in wanting to reject what we deem "normal" standards of beauty in the Western world. But even still... people have been rejecting beauty standards their entire lives. Is it that impressive? Maybe. Maybe not. 

Weird parallel with covering mirrors since certain cultures do this for the mourning period after a death. Significant to the death of her self-esteem? Security? Self-worth? Beauty regimen? "Typical" womanhood? 

As someone who has lived in Asia, there is a very strange inferiority complex that dances around Western women expats. Perhaps Baker-Hyde, surrounded by fashionable, thin, attractive, and often beauty and fashion obsessed Hong Kongers, was feeling even more down on herself than she would on her own turf. 

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

More power to her! She gave all this up in order to learn to not care what judgemental people like the author think. :-) I think she's awesome for being able to do so- too many women are concerned about what other women think. It's sad.

To each her own- and if we could REALLY live by that motto... what a wonderful world it would be.

boldr... boldrumble

Hmm, i have short hair, i dont wear makeup or mosturize, and when it isnt shorts weather..i dont shave. Difference between what you indicate and my life is: i look good with short hair and dont need make up to look good or feel good about myself. I am single, so there is noone i need to shave for and I dont believe it benefits my health to shave. Some of us have self esteem and dont need to adjust our outward appearances to fit what society thinks...

hello... hellokd87

I'm with Theresa. I could care less what other people think, but I feel my best when I'm all glammed up. If you can go without, then God speed, sister. I'll pat on an extra layer of my Hydra Life moisturizer, for ya!

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