When this 'before' and 'after' photo of Stephanie Lange showed up in my Instagram feed, I remember thinking, "How cool is that -- a REAL-looking 'before' photo!"
I loved it immediately, and was not the least bit surprised. It seemed consistent with this makeup artist's friendly, open, and down-to-earth persona.
I had begun following her after stumbling across her YouTube channel, which is full of great makeup tutorials. I loved the content of her videos, but what made them really great was her personality; she seemed to have a vulnerable, unguarded way of being.
Unfortunately, sometimes people just act like total A-Holes.
As it turns out, this photo was met with quite a few abusive comments on Instagram. It seems that having the veil pulled back on the carefully constructed images of beauty we are so used to seeing was threatening for many viewers, who bombarded her with nasty comments in reference to her 'before' image.
Shortly afterward, she posted the following message on her YouTube Channel, along with a video response:
I wanted to address this notion that people are 'ugly' without their makeup. As i said in the video, i get a lot of comments on photos that i post on my Instagram (@stephanielangemakeup) such as:
'This is Why Men Have Trust Issues' 'This is Why You Should Always Take a Girl To The Beach on a First Date' 'OMFG!!!' 'EEEWWWW!!!' 'She's So Ugly Without Makeup!!'
.... and that i basically paint a new face on and 'trick' people into thinking i'm pretty - when i'm not.
This frustrates me, as I don't want anyone to feel ashamed or embarrassed of their bare, makeup-free face. It's comments like these that make girls AND boys who wear makeup, feel ugly when they're not wearing it.
Here's what I love about her video:
- She stands her ground not just on her own behalf, but on behalf of people everywhere who'd rather not be shamed for SIMPLY SHOWING THEIR FACE. Standing up for yourself and others takes Boldness.
- She stays positive, never stooping to their level or being nasty in return. Taking the high road takes Integrity.
- She ACTUALLY TRIES TO EDUCATE PEOPLE about why their comments were harmful. Teaching someone instead of telling them to f*ck off takes Compassion.
Boldness, Integrity, Compassion... In my opinion, this may just be the formula for sustainable feminism -- a strong, assertive, kind approach that is inclusive rather than alienating, even when others' behavior is SO damn frustrating. It is important to remember that even when people ACT horrible, it doesn't mean they ARE horrible. Let's not give up on changing the world! Just my two cents.
You can watch the full "rant" post below, and I HIGHLY recommend watching it because SHE IS AMAZING.
No, I will not edit my 'before' photo like I know a lot of other people do, because I don't care about making an illusion of what I do or don't look like without makeup -- that's just my face.
Question! Are you comfortable being photographed without makeup?
I must admit, I'm not! Since I don't like to be scared of anything, here's a photo of me having a fantastic breakout. Hey, that's just my face.