makeupLooking for a new holiday to celebrate? How about No Makeup Day? Yup, it's real. Even better, it was dreamed up by a bunch of teenage girls and celebrated at their high school last week.

You couldn't get me to go back to high school if you paid me a large sum of money and threw a few chocolate bars in to sweeten the pot. But something tells me I would have been pretty comfortable at New London High School. At least for a day.

The girls who created No Makeup Day and convinced their administrators to go through with it say it was a response to the pressure put on teenagers -- especially teen girls -- to be "perfect." They were hoping a day with no makeup would help remind their classmates that beauty is skin deep.

I'd like to wrap each of those girls in a big, fat hug.

I look at some of the teen girls walking around the mall, and I shudder. They look like they're preparing for a Vogue magazine shoot instead of shopping for a new pair of Uggs. The question is why they feel that much makeup and those kind of clothes are necessary. Is it society's pressure or their parents' failure to fight said pressure?

My daughter is only 7 and far too young for real makeup. But already I'm struggling with how to explain the concept of beauty to her without making her feel pressured to reach some impossible goal.

I look at her, and I see a beautiful girl (doesn't every mother?). But I know I will one day have to face her desire to use makeup, to dress fashionably (forget one day, we're already there!). The challenge isn't in whether or not to allow her to do so but in explaining that clothes and makeup are there to enhance beauty that already exists, not to "make" one beautiful.

I'm not saying No Makeup Day should be every day, although I'd like to see an event like this in every school in America at least once a year. Makeup and beautiful clothes aren't inherently bad, but our girls need to know how to use them appropriately in their lives.

Do you struggle with this with your daughter? Would you be up for a No Makeup Day?

 

Image by Jeanne Sager