Over 1,000 female students at a Texas high school came to school Friday without a trace of makeup, a gesture intended to encourage classmates to feel more comfortable about their bodies. The teenagers called the initiative Operation Beautiful.
Three friends — Monica Plenger, Madeline Milby, and Binna Kim — founded Operation Beautiful, and the project grew to become a makeup-free day that coincided with International Women’s Day.
“What we really want to do on this day is to prioritize bettering yourself on the inside rather than trying to better yourself on the outside,” Kim said in a YouTube video promoting the event.
The three friends were motivated by similar initiatives in other schools. They were astonished by the degree of support their project received.
“I would rarely see a girl wearing makeup in my classes and in the halls,” Kim told TODAY.com. “The atmosphere of school was so lively; everyone was in such a good mood and taking pictures. It was a really fun day.”
Several of Plano Senior High’s female students reported taking 30 to 45 minutes to get ready in the mornings. Some take as long as two hours.
“If I’m trying to look decent and presentable, it probably takes around an hour and a half,” one female student said.
In stark contrast, guys took between five minutes and half an hour. Female students considered getting ready so quickly to be a luxury.
“What inspired us to start Operation Beautiful was that we all could agree that during the summer we really missed how we could just wake up in the morning and not really care about what we looked like,” Plenger said. “Now when we get ready for school, we feel like we take so much more time than we really need.”
Some women refused to part with their makeup, and a few guys tried to discourage the event. Other male students expressed support for the initiative, and several were interviewed for the promotional video.
“Girls should be able to be confident in who they are with or without makeup,” one student said. “They should be confident in who they are, and they should be able to come to school proud of who they are without wearing makeup.”
Another male student struck a more light-hearted cord.
“Listen, ladies, I just want you to know that you are so gorgeous without your makeup on,” one guy said with a smile. “You can be beautiful without makeup on any day of the week. Look at me, I don’t wear any makeup, and I am so incredibly attractive. You could be like me.”
His tone may be smug, but his self-confidence mirrors the message of the day. Over 1,000 of Plano Senior High School’s 1,300 female students went without makeup to show that they are beautiful just the way they are and confident enough to show it.
[Image via Today.com]