Makeup-free day celebrates true beauty

Baylor’s I Heart Me campaign is hosted by, from left, Fayetteville, Ga., doctoral candidate Shehzad Jooma; Longmont, Colo., doctoral candidate Laura Sejud; Fremont, Calif., doctoral candidate Crystal Lee; Waco doctoral candidate Kara Emery; Counseling Services psychologist Emma Wood; and 2003 Baylor alumnus Russ Wood.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photographer

By Molly Dunn

Members of the I Heart Me campaign raised awareness for women by not wearing makeup and sporting their I Heart Me T-shirts Wednesday. The no-makeup day was in conjunction with the campaign’s “I Heart Me Day.”

Dr. Emma Wood, staff psychologist in Baylor’s Counseling Center, created the I Heart Me campaign this semester and plans to promote awareness and action of certain issues next semester by joining them with I Heart Me days.

“Our desire is to have just days throughout the year that are I Heart Me days where people would wear their T-shirts, and part of that is to promote awareness of some of the issues the campaign addresses, like diversity, acceptance, positive self-image and role modeling,” Wood said.

Wood said the concept of not wearing makeup for a day has been done by other groups, such as Seventeen magazine, the Today Show and various Facebook groups.

“We thought this would be pretty good to use on I Heart Me Day, kind of doing a similar concept in order to build awareness over issues regarding media competence,” Wood said. “We talk a lot about being a critical consumer of media and some of the kind of misleading things that advertisements promote. That’s all involved in the I Heart Me campaign.”

Wood said that 43 percent of 6-to 9-year-old girls wear lipstick or lip gloss.

“When you were young, that wasn’t the norm, but now this is becoming the norm,” Wood said. “There’s just this objectification of women that we have to pursue this feminine ideal even as children, even from a young age.”

South Padre Island sophomore Ke`leigh Sapp, who joined I Heart Me because she loved the focus of the group and what it values, went makeup-less on Wednesday.

“I think it’s a great way to outwardly show we’re more than just pretty things to look at; we’re more than just physical objects,” Sapp said.

Van Davis, assistant director for fitness and nutrition education, has worked with Wood in promoting the I Heart Me campaign this semester, along with the Body IQ team. Davis said that having a day dedicated to not wearing makeup is a great message to inspire women.

“We are hoping to empower women to get up and to go through the day without makeup on,” Davis said. “This culture, it just becomes a habit that you do this. It’s just like brushing your teeth, you put on makeup. Even if you wake up and you walk around the house, it just becomes a habit.”

The I Heart Me campaign hopes to continue to inspire others on campus to change their habits.

“Having conversations about this is stage one and it’s awesome,” Wood said. “Doing something, like if you’re actively changing how you live for one day, that raises it from awareness to action. Then from action it can start to change the climate and start to change how people think about themselves and how people act at Baylor.”

Sapp said she believes the I Heart Me campaign will greatly benefit Baylor as a whole.

“I think it’s something that Baylor is really looking for, it just hasn’t been there,” Sapp said. “We’re really hoping that it becomes more of a popular event and just gets out there for people to join and know about.”

Wood said that in the future, I Heart Me days will be more applicable to men and women on campus, but in a certain respect, the no-makeup day does apply to men.

“This is a message that one day, if they want to be fathers, that I really hope they can give to their daughters, or if they’re boyfriends that they can encourage in their girlfriends to release this objectification of women,” Wood said.

Members of I Heart Me hoped to bring awareness to these struggles that women face with the need to always wear makeup. Wood said that American women spend nearly $7 billion on cosmetics each year, averaging to be about $100 per month per woman.

“There are so many other parts to us than just our face. Yet we are so quick to invest large amounts of money in our face and our appearance and neglect the other parts,” Wood said.