TGIF: Are You There, World? It’s Me, Tina. Without Makeup.

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On Angelina Jolie’s leg, posing for Facebook pictures and exposing the “real me.”

It’s been an AWESOME week to be a woman.

Apart from the insane media coverage of Angelina Jolie’s leg at the Oscars (epic low for humanity), I have enjoyed watching women stand up and stick it to The Man.

I want to take a quick minute to say:

Source: baubauhaus.com via Tina on Pinterest

Dear Angelina,

Haters gonna hate.

I’m so sorry about the spoofs, Twitter account, “Legbombing” Pinterest page, memes and TV shows making fun of your leg.

I say this sincerely and un-ironically: it must suck to wake up every morning and hear that your leg is on the cover of yet another newspaper, when women are being raped in Congo.

Ignore these bozos. Let one of them win an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and be named Hollywood’s highest-paid actress by Forbes; then they can talk.

Love you girl,
Teen
__________

Coming back to task at hand …

Women were such rockstars this week. They are:

  1. Speaking up.
    “Dear Oscar: Women Have Stories, Too
  2. Gathering allies.
    “Tumblr Takes Stand Against Eating Disorder Blogs”
  3. Standing up for each other.
    “Why We Should Stop Snarking On Angelina Jolie’s Thinness”
  4. Embracing their imperfections.
    “Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect
  5. Telling the truth.
    “My Journey with Weight Control.”

The last link is a revealing ballsy piece, written by our very own SheLoves writer, Claire De Boer.

Here’s an excerpt from her article that made me choke on my afternoon apple:

“I can’t count the number of times I have sat around a table with girlfriends, a delicious selection of mouthwatering finger foods under our noses, and listened as most of us have justified our decision to eat or not eat the food.

I went for a run today.
I didn’t eat dinner, so I can indulge.
I’ve been good all week, so I deserve a night off.
I shouldn’t … I really need to lose a few pounds.

Whatever the response, so many of us are sitting around that table justifying our decision to eat or not eat. I have never heard the same conversation around a table of men.”

Mid February (coincidentally on my birthday), another SheLoves writer, powerhouse Sarah Bessey wrote, “For Shame or Freedom?” “Shame is insidious, ” she says, “because it can sound reasonable to our own ears, but it always ends in the same place: a prison.”

She goes on to say that as women:

“…we weave a banner of love as nouns and verbs to guard and protect,
to trail-blaze, for our mothers, our daughters:
you are beautiful, you have worth, you are valuable – NOW.
I love you, I see you, I hear you, my sister.

Facebook Me vs. Real Me

Sarah’s words, “I see you,” jumped out at me. I thought about how rarely, I let people see the real me. I hate being seen. I hate been photographed. Maybe I’m extra critical because I’m a photographer. If it’s not the right angle, the right light and the right posture, I want the earth to open up and swallow me whole.

This fear is magnified with the magic of Facebook. Anyone can upload and tag a nasty picture of me with a double-chin, back-fat, eyes closed and mouth wide open. Sure, I could “untag” myself from the picture, but I’ll always know that it’s still floating out there on the scary Internet.

Like most mortals, I’m guilty of putting up a cute but not too pose-y picture of myself as a profile picture, like so:

Please note, the flattering soft light coming from my window making me look like a cast member of “Touched by an Angel.” Truth be told, I often worry that people who I “meet” on the internet, will be disappointed when they meet me in person. Alas, I can’t bottle that gorgeous light to follow me around!

I read an article this week titled, “Almost Half Of Women Don’t Like Their Faces Unless They’re Spackled With Makeup.” Dude … that just makes me sad. Spackled?!

And hey, if this is what Supermodel Kate Moss looks like without makeup and Photoshop, then why do I give myself such a hard time?

If more of us women stopped hiding behind our staged “Perfect Profile Picture,” we could start to reverse the cycle of self-hate and fear, and run wildly into the arms of love and freedom.

Some of you might remember that my One Word for 2012 is “enough.” I’m learning that I am: strong enough, smart enough, brave enough, loved enough …[squirm]even beautiful enough. Just as I am.

“We can’t look to the world to restore our worth; we’re here to restore our worth to the world. The world outside us can reflect our glory, but it cannot create it. It cannot crown us. Only God can crown us, and he already has.” — Marianne Williamson

In a moment of pure insanity I thought, if my beautiful friend Claire can be honest about how many times she has weighed herself, I can be honest about what I look like without makeup.

So this is the real me …
Glasses
Pimple on my cheek
Angry Vein on my forehead
Bags under my eyes
Ratty pajamas
No makeup.
No Photoshop.
No flattering angle.

BOOM.

Pssst … if you click on the picture, it gets even larger.

And this is (round-faced) me, after I realized that this idea was totally crazy and I was going to regret it in the morning!

Guess what? It’s morning. And, I don’t regret it!

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way.” — Marianne Williamson

______________________________

OH-OH-OH, I have a crazy idea!!!

Dear ones, I (lovingly) dare you to take a picture of yourself without makeup and:

a. Post it on our SheLoves Facebook page.
b. Share it on Twitter. You can copy/paste this tweet:
“Hey World! It’s Me, _____[insert name]. Without Makeup. #iamenough [insert picture]
c. Or “Pin it” on Pinterest. #iamenough

Gleep! I’m so excited. I would seriously love to see your beautiful faces, just as you are.

Together we can define a new standard for beauty; one that celebrates our curves, stretchmarks, scary veins, wrinkles and laugh lines.

Love you more than Ginger Grapefruit Curd,
xoxo,
Teen

To read more TGIFs from Tina: Click here.

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Tina Francis
My name is Tina. Loved ones call me: Teen. Words are my chocolate. Music, my caramel. Photography, my bread. Girlfriends, my butter. Confession: Some girls dream about Manolo Blahniks or their next Hermes bag. Not me. I dream of freshly baked bread, perfectly barbecued meat & steaming bowls of Pho. My dream lover *cue Mariah Carey song* is someone who would read out a menu to me in Barry White’s baritone voice. I celebrate food, ask for help, interrupt conversations, laugh and cry hard, acknowledge the elephant in most rooms, fight for the underdog and believe in the power of storytelling. I was born and raised in Dubai and currently live in the beautiful city of Vancouver, known for some of the best sushi in the world.
Tina Francis
Tina Francis
  • Gladys Mutungu

    This is so well explained, written and expressed. I am so grateful.

    • Thank you for being so encouraging, Aunty Gladys! My heart is full. 🙂

      Hugs,
      Teen

  • Namrata

    Absolutely LOVED this post.
    It’s so funny how every woman I know, KNOWS what photoshop does but still expects to look like a Victoria Secret model (me included). It’s terrible.
    We are all so great, darnit! Why should we ask for anything else, right? 🙂

    • Thanks Nammu! I’m guilty as charged as you can tell from my post. I actually work on Photoshop quite a bit to spiffy up my clients images and I STILL get stuck in believing a lie. I guess, the first step is outing ourselves. Next step, is doing little things that progressing scares us. Maybe it means not straightening our hair everyday or wearing one less layer of makeup?

      Pssst…I’d LOVE it is you could Tweet or upload of a picture sans make up! I already know that you are stunning but the process is quite cathartic. I highly recommend it. Squash shame, Nams. DO IT.

      xoxo,
      Teen

  • Kelley Johnson Nikondeha

    Okay, you are beautiful!!!! I love the real Tina… these pictures made me miss you! This is the Tina I love and see when my eyes are closed… glad you see that she is more than enough!

    xoxo

    • Aww Kelster! You get to see the real me ALL THE TIME on Skype, dontcha? 🙂 Hair in a towel, glasses, sweatshirt, red eyes, sleep deprived! I love the level of comfort we share in our friendship.

      I’m not sure the girl in the picture, i.e. “the real me” is attractive in terms of conventional beauty but she sure looks loved! And that?!! I LOVE.

      I miss you, too!

      xoxo,
      Teen
      P.S. I stuck Brene Brown’s book plate in my copy of the book and it looks be-yoo-tiful! What a great gift idea. Thank you.

  • About a year (and a half) ago, I learned something startling about myself. When I said, “God’s creation is beautiful,” I never included myself.

    This revelation scared me. Ever since then, I decided to give up my every-day make up (I make an exception for special occasions). This practice has not only helped me overcome a sense of “I’m not attractive,” but also understand that because God crafted me, I am beautiful no matter what.

    Sure, my skin is terrorized by stress-zits and my baggy eyes are extremely prominent. And there are days where I feel insecure about my appearances next to my gorgeous friends.

    But every time I stargaze in pure astonishment of the beauty that surrounds this earth, it is humbling to realize that I am part of this beauty that God created. Thank you for being so transparent in this post! It is a good reminder that because my potter has crafted me, I am enough…with or without make up.

    Love,
    Leah; beautiful in every way.

    • Sweet Lee-Lee,

      You are inspiring sweetheart. In SO many ways. Such wisdom, from such a young heart. I’m humbled and amazed by your maturity and your strong identity in the Creator.

      I think I’m similar to you, in that, I thought that I’ve always thought “creation is beautiful” but never saw myself included in that. I’ve always felt distanced from beauty and acceptance. Maybe some of it is just remnants of Adam and Eve’s decision in the garden. Some of it is from being scarred as a child and the rest of it is from the subtle chipping away of self-worth and identity by the chaos of life: failure, unemployment, sickness, debt, bad relationship, etc. It’s easy to get buried under the debris of life’s carnage.

      I’m on the slow but steady journey of discovering the language (nouns and verbs) around my true identity.

      Love your heart. Keep sharing!

      xoxo,
      Teen

  • Tina Francis, you make me so happy, it’s ridiculous. This is BEAUTIFUL.

    • I make you happy? *cyber cartwheel* I can’t do a real cartwheel anyway, so it’s just as well. Thank you, dear Sarah.

      And your book proposal is done lady!!!
      Beers + wings, soon?

      xoxo,
      Teen

  • Oh you make me laugh my dear, and think, and relax…love this post. And you look just as beautiful without makeup 🙂

    • Laugh + think + relax? You made my day, Claire! So inspired by your truth-telling. Seriously, it forced to write something raw like Jeff Goins suggested on his blog this week. I love that we both share a JG obsession. *high fives*

      Love beautiful you!
      xoxo,
      Teen

  • Sue

    Love your thoughts here. Regarding Angelina and her now (always?) famous leg, I think she did a great injustice to herself and women everywhere when she marched out on stage, stuck her leg out and made the facial gestures that she did. She knew what she was doing and got the appropriate response. I agree…..absolute epic low for humanity. For objectification to stop, we must first stop objectifying ourselves. With all that she does for so many important issues in our world, my shock was not the next morning with all of the resultant media coverage. My shock was that night, watching her do that to herself.

    • Hi Sue,

      First off, thanks for reading! YAY.

      In regards to Angelina, I think I feel anxiety on both accounts:
      a. Watching the footage of her on stage, I’ll agree that she was exhibiting some behavior that did strike me as a bit odd. Then I thought, “Man, I have done some weird stuff when faced with a camera.” I, too, am guilty of making strange facial expressions because I have the loud sirens of insecurity or disconnected self-perception blaring in my head. I have sucked in my cheeks, stomach and avoided smiling TOO big because I thought it made my face look too “fat”. This strategy often backfires and makes me look constipated and unhappy. Not a good look. My family often teases me when we look at old pictures of me …Boy..was I ever a mess?! Still am on most days!

      b. I think the part that breaks my heart, is that the media’s reaction seemed disproportionate to Angie’s behavior. Sure it was a bit out of character for her…but 45,000+ Twitter followers on an account called @AngiesRightLeg? I feel unsettled by thoughts like, “What if she wakes up in the middle of the night and Googles herself?” I know celebrities claim to have evolved past Tabloid gossip, but if I was a celebrity (fyi, never a promising start for an argument 🙂 ) I would not be numb to the mass shaming that seems to be happening.

      It makes me sad and I wish it would stop. It’s all very “he who casts the first stone” for me…

      Thank for reading and giving me something to think about!! I think this is my first comment from you. So exciting.

      *waves goodbye*

      Much love,
      Teen

  • Hello Beautiful Teen!

    I call you beautiful because I have gazed directly into your glorious eyes and smiled at you like a giddy long lost sistah just arrived into the promised land. I love you and I love this post!

    And for the record, I rarely wear makeup. Like almost never. And I don’t cover my gray either.

    Lotsa love,
    Tara


    • “I call you beautiful because I have gazed directly into your glorious eyes and smiled at you like a giddy long lost sistah just arrived into the promised land.”

      Amen, Amen, Amen. And ditto, ditto, ditto!!!

      You don’t need makeup! You are effortlessly radiant.

      Can’t wait for our morning chat with Kiks tomorrow! It’s been WAY.TOO.LONG!

      xoxo,
      Teen

  • Shereen D’souza

    okay, love the pics and the glasses are so cool!!!! am looking for a pair like them? what brand are they?

  • Dear Teen,

    I love your courage. This post was beautiful and so are you. You inspire me. I was talking about this whole “Facebook me vs. Real me” with a friend recently. One day I tried to live up to somebody else’s profile. I decided that I was going to try to work full-time hours, make a beautiful gourmet dinner and get all dressed up. I think we ate instant noodles that night and I was wearing my pyjamas. I felt like a disappointment. But, as I talked with my friend about it, we realized that we choose what we show/reveal on facebook – the organized house, the picture perfect children, the gourmet feast, and happy flawless portraits of ourselves. It’s easy to make our lives seem so magical. I’m sure some women have it more figured out than I do – as far as multitasking, focus, and getting a million things done in a day while looking gorgeous, but …I’m also guessing their lives don’t always look that way.

    I’m learning that raw me is good. Not just in photos, but in every way. In my story. I don’t need to embellish my routine. As simple as my days are – they are good enough for me. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I love this! One of my first friends when we moved here a few months ago is a makeup artist. I can’t tell you how much that lengthened my time in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning! And the silly thing is I am sure she is not thinking 10% of the thoughts that I attribute to her in my own insecurity. But I worry about looking good enough.
    Even with my one word being brave, it would take a huge amount of courage for me to go without makeup today…
    Thanks for giving me lots to think about.

  • Saira Ranj

    Super duper like. Have always wondered why collecting bags and shoes and flaunting brands every now and then never inspired me. Good times with great food and awesome company makes me happy. Words prod me on…be it spoken or written…colours enliven me…right brained with a dash of the left has always been my thing. Glad to meet someone who I can relate to Teen. Carry on doing your thing! 🙂

  • Megan

    Teen, I have been reading you blog for the last year. It is the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae that is my Friday! I’m on mat leave now, but I work for Mercy Ministries. I remember frantically hitting ‘refresh’ on my phone Friday mornings on my drive in, waiting for your blog to pop up!

    Thank you so much for for this refreshing (and ridiculously brave) post. You are gorgeous without makeup, and I know so many women (including this one) are feeling challenged to be a little more exposed, a little more real, and show a little more of what He gave us, rather than what MAC does! As someone who has struggled with breakouts since I was a teenager, the thought of going out or being photographed without makeup leaves me quite petrified. Looks like I need to get my ‘brave’ on!

    But I do feel like I’m on the same page as you this month. I write a blog for the paoc (http://www.w2wonline.ca/?p=2141) and really felt called to write about body acceptance this month. Not what it’s going to look like after three months of boot camp classes or three layers of spanx, but what it looks like right now. And to LOVE what it looks like right now, because the Creator of the universe lovingly sculpted every bit.

    Anyway, I digress. Thank you my dear. You have encouraged and spurned me forward so many times. You have made me laugh out loud and cry and cheer along with you. I wish I had said ‘thank-you’ a lot sooner.

    Much much love to you! Meg

  • I read this yesterday (two times – yes, I really needed it) and came back to re-read it today.

    You’ve touched on the whole “we feel bad about ourselves, so we put others down” and all the while ridicule ourselves as not enough. Welp, that’s what I do at least. I have these revelations of I’m enough for today or I’m enough until I see how so-and-so has perfectly shaped eyebrows. Then I fall back into the trap.

    You’re simply gorgeoulicious – life spewing from you, even sans makeup.

    Thank you for this post, maybe I’ll join in and tweet a picture of my raw face!

  • Can I just say that, I nearly choked on my falafel donair when I read this post..because I (more than anyone) know HOW much of a big step this was for you.

    I was so stunned that I sat and stared at those 2 pictures in disbelief for several minutes..not because I’ve never seen that face before..in fact that’s the face that comes to my mind when i say the word sister. The makeup hottie-patootie version of you never pops in my head. I ALWAYS get the simple, clean, pure face that looks like it just got scrubbed down after a hot shower. It’s the face I’ve always preferred and always will.

    This is a monumental moment for you. Stop and honor the moment and promise to never look back. This is the new normal. The new you.

    I am mucho proud and very challenged. I will be back with a picture..just gimme a day or two. I’ve looked green lately.

  • I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are Awesome with a capital A Tina 🙂
    And Beautiful with a capital B.
    I’ll stop before I go through the entire alphabet.
    Thanks so much for being such an inspiring trailblazer! 🙂
    Sarah xx

  • Wow, this is fantastic. This resonates deep inside, and is rich with beautiful truth. I was a slave to my makeup bag for so, so many years (since middle school) after being told I was ugly. Just a few months ago, at the age of 28, I had a revolution and stopped wearing it at all. My naked face has been on display all over town, and I am FINALLY no longer ashamed of it. I blogged about it – http://redandhoney.com/2011/10/day-27-sometimes-i-forget-my-ugliness/

    Thanks for writing and spreading courage…

    • PS – My avatar pic is a recent one of me – with no makeup. Something that I used to be ashamed of. Not any more!

  • Stacy Wiebe

    I’ve seen you fresh-off-the-plane and you were beautiful before you freshened up!

    Check out this post from my friend Kavi:

    An ideal Indian woman! Who is she? She is tall, slim, with well defined features and FAIR!

    What do we read when we open the matrimonial sections of our newspapers? Have you ever tried to count the number of ‘fairness’ advertisements that you are exposed to on television everyday? It seems the marketing universe would have us believe that the majority of Indian girls and women need to lighten up!

    More here: http://darkisbeautiful.blogspot.in/2012/03/ideal-indian-woman.html

  • I posted my pic…xoxo

  • Kelly Voros

    Hello gorgeous Teen. I recently had laser eye surgery and was not permitted to wear any eye make up for a week before and two weeks after. It was challenging, and I have to say that I didn’t love it. However, I was surprised at the total lack of reaction from others. At first I was sure that people were just being polite but in the end I could no longer deny that they actually didn’t care! We all assume that others are as obsessed with us as we are with ourselves and, shockingly, they are not. They have their own life going on and whether or not I’m wearing make up is remarkably low on their list of things to be concerned about. Conclusion – I really need to get over myself!

    Note – I have not yet posted a make-up free picture so I’m still working on the get over myself part.

    K

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