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by Michelle Marinone

On a foggy spring morning, the women of Westmont’s chapter of Wonderfully Made had a celebration. Not a birthday party or a bridal shower. We got together and celebrated beauty. Real, raw, natural, unfiltered beauty.

Inspired by a recent post on Darling Magazine, we decided to have our own Naked Brunch. The concept is simple: a lovely little brunch and photo shoot wear no one wears makeup. Not a dot of foundation, a swipe of mascara, or a dab of lip gloss.

So thirteen ladies piled into my little apartment, “naked.” I wondered what insecurities would arise, how people would act. Then one of the girls announced, “You know, none of you look any different without makeup on.” We all looked at each other. She was right. It didn’t matter that we weren’t wearing makeup. Because what we appreciate about each other is not makeup. It’s Leah’s optimism. Chloe’s contagious laugh. Ari’s sincerity. Sara’s smiling eyes.

As we look through the photos, the truth is clear. Cosmetics don’t make these ladies beautiful; they just are.

Only after I shared the photos and was flooded with feedback did I realize that we were making a statement. We saw beauty in blemishes. In the real color of our skin. In the soft eyelashes and naked lips. In unlined and shimmer-free lids. In being raw. In natural smiles. In friendship and female community. In eating scones and French toast and quiche. In praying with each other and for each other. In coming out from hiding. In letting our faces breath. In taking off the cover. Beauty isn’t something to strive for, to work for, to attain. Beauty is here, now, and only needs to be acknowledged. Beauty is who we are.

Disclaimer: we don’t have a problem with makeup, in and of itself. We do believe, however, that the girl underneath the makeup is lovely and should be seen. She doesn’t need to hide. In the Naked Brunch post, Adrienne Sandvos says it well:

I can love that girl in the mirror before she has her make up on. What difference does it make? At that point, I can adorn the beauty I have instead of trying to fabricate a beauty clone. My make-up becomes decoration instead of a mask and I have nothing to hide.”

Thanks to Megan Moore for the beautiful photos, Darling Magazine for the inspiration, and the beautiful women of Wonderfully Made at Westmont for a lovely brunch!

Would you try a “naked brunch”? Why or why not?

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