Makeup/No Makeup Challenges! Also: Women of Color and Eating Disorders

A couple of fun beauty challenges other writers are putting out there:

1) Author Rosie Molinary, who was interviewed here a few weeks ago, teaches a class on body image at the University of North Carolina. She issued her class a challenge: Show up to class all-natural this Friday. No makeup, no perfume, no hair products—if it isn't on you naturally, it isn't on you Friday. She's invited her readers to join her. Are you in? (I am. You know there's a way overanalytical post a-comin'.)

2) On the opposite end of the spectrum, the ladies of No More Dirty Looks (a must-read if you're into green beauty) are putting forth a glamourpuss challenge: "We want you to go wild with your clean makeup! ... Maybe it means putting on eyeliner for the first time in your life, or wearing a bright pink lipstick, or doing a face as bananas as the Black Swan’s. All we ask is that you have FUN with the challenge, and take at least one risk." Bonus: Submit your photo and you could win a $100 gift certificate to a natural beauty shop.

Both of these actually relate to two beauty-related resolutions I made at the beginning of the year: Go a week without makeup (I'm not there yet! But a day, I can handle), and have more fun with my appearance. I leapt into the deep end with the latter (lipstick report: still going strong! must return to MAC store to broaden options! and down the rabbit hole she goes...), and honestly when I gave myself that challenge I thought it would be more of a theoretical exercise than an actual prompt to shift my mind-set. I don't know if I underestimated myself or if I underestimated lipstick, but I honestly feel like I've expanded my views on beauty enormously by walking around all vamped out for a day. I leave the house without makeup frequently, but I don't think I've ever gone to work bare-faced, and I'm curious to see how this experiment goes. 

And in keeping with this week's theme: Check out Rosie's post on the invisibility of women of color who have eating disorders. It's not just the average-weight or overweight women I wrote about yesterday who are being shortchanged by our narrow ideas of what eating disorders are; it's any woman who doesn't fit the expectation of an ED sufferer.

I wonder about the double bind Latina women are in: Along with the "Latina mystique" that paints Latina women as smoldering sexpots comes an intense scrutiny of Latina women's bodies. And while the "ideal" physique for Latina women might be curvier than for white women, it's also an unrealistic ideal—and I wonder if that sets up Latina women to proudly flaunt their curves (if they have them) as a sort of ethnic signifier. And if that's organic and authentic for the individual, then it may indeed be a source of pride for some women. But it paints a pretty narrow space for Latina women—who are, after all, living in a white-dominant culture in which thinness is still heavily prized—to comfortably inhabit.