by Sarah Jaggard
Sarah Jaggard and Natalie Collier are co-founders for 30 Days No Makeup: The Brave Ones Face Themselves, a campaign encouraging women to take a month to love their faces and themselves, and give culture back its messages about beauty. Here is a bit about their work and upcoming campaign from Sarah.
This challenge was truly prompted by a spiritual unrest, a spirit that desired peace and self-acceptance for all people. In this particular manifestation, it involves women and makeup, specifically.
This idea really came to me through that and my own personal experience of observing how I used makeup as my primary form of visual identity. I felt whole only when I had it on. I’m the woman with hot pink lipstick and black eyeliner, always… It’s my staple. ‘How would I feel if I didn’t wear those things?,’ I asked myself. Well, it turns out I didn’t like the feelings I had when I honestly fumbled through answering that question in the privacy of my own head. So I knew something deeper was going on. I wanted to be brave enough to push into that and uncover what that is.
I couldn’t sleep because I had this idea and wondered what it would look like if women did something outrageously brave and self-loving, even if it were uncomfortable, just for one month. One month seemed both doable and somewhat long when it involves that level of challenge [for me, at least]. The next day I called Natalie Collier, now my co-founder, and shared my dream. Within 72 hours we had this vision created and in motion, and now we are about to launch a movement of self-love that defies cultural norms! It was a divine appointment.
Are We Anti-Makeup?
First, let the record show that we LOVE makeup. Like, really love it. Personally, I probably spend too much money on it… MAC is my favorite brand. As a prided makeup connoisseur, I will say this campaign is not about makeup-hating or being anti-girly. This is only about experimenting for a designated amount of time and seeing what comes up when we engage in something different from our norm. I believe the only downside is us being faced with our own self-esteem. Why do I believe I need something in addition to my own, natural face? That’s what I am exploring for myself starting November 15.
The Cultural Messages
Through my one-on-one interviews with women about this, I saw some very specific patterns come up. I will boldly say all of these answers are true of me, too. One pattern is, “I use makeup to accentuate the good qualities and downplays the bad ones.” That implies there are bad parts to how someone was created, and that is a flat out lie. The second pattern was fear of being judged by other people by not wearing makeup, even by women who wore minimal makeup. Women expressed they did not feel put together without makeup, and that they try hard to make it look like their makeup is natural.
This means (generally) that we collectively try hard to make it appear that we do not try hard. I recall watching an interview with Amy Adams at the Oscars talking about how long it took her to get ready, and she said she spent over ten hours preparing to look as natural as possible. She laughed about it, as did I!
We have to look at that, though. I believe images in print, commercial, and entertainment give women the idea that a nose can be too big, a chin can be too pointy, eye can be too small, or cheekbones can be poorly pla
ced. Says who?!
ced. Says who?!
Who We Want to Love On
The intention is simply for women, in this case, to take 30 days of simply observing themselves and loving themselves without anything additional. We call it bravery. It’s for women everywhere to face themselves and what comes up for them when they do something brave but risky that tends to defy cultural norms. This particular idea might not fit every woman, but we encourage 30 days of any sort of self-loving actions!
We hope to provide a sense of women experiencing self-love just as they are and caring more about what they think about themselves than what others think of them. I don’t believe this sort of social sickness is tied only to makeup; I believe it’s broad enough to cover much of how we all live our lives. It’s the idea of perfectionism our culture buys into. We hope to bring a perspective of holistic beauty to every aspect of ourselves and of life.
Join us at