Indiana University student reaches day 200 of her year without makeup

Annie Garau ditches cosmetics for a year to focus on what lies within. 

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:34 p.m.

Annie Garau, a 20-year-old Indiana University student and intern at the Lexington Herald-Leader just passed her 200-day mark of going makeup free, according to her column on the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Garau has documented her experiences thus far on her blog, reaching out to other young women and challenging readers to “notice the beauty that all girls are simply born with.”

For Garau, the experiment is more than just a personal challenge or social statement — it’s part of a larger conversation to see how makeup impacts societal expectations placed on females and constructed ideas of beauty, according to an article on Bustle.

Before committing to a makeup-free face for 365 days, Garau did her research. She cited a recent study by Dove, in which 90 percent of women said they weren’t satisfied with the way they looked. While Dove is no stranger to body-positive advertising — launching multiple phases of its “Campaign for Real Beauty” — Garau said she wanted to dig deeper to see if there was any correlation between physical appearance and career success and leadership amongst females.

In a 2011 study, The New York Times reported women who wore makeup in the workplace not only appeared more attractive, but were also regarded as more trustworthy, competent and overall more genial.

Garau shared with Huffington Post she isn’t sure whether she will continue going sans makeup after the year is over, but she said the experience has changed her perspective on appearance and how it is constructed and perceived by others.

Do you think makeup plays too big of a role in perceptions of others? Do you think you could go a full year without using cosmetics? How big of a role does makeup play in the ongoing body image conversation?


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