By Robin Smyth

Is it so unnatural for a woman to appear in public au natural that we are now challenging each other to post make-upless pics to our social media timelines? As in, are you brave enough to let others lay eyes on your nude facial sans les disguise? Le gasp!!

This “challenge” both baffles and annoys this reporter as it seems to be an implication that only under uncommon circumstances, such as an the challenge of an invitation via Facebook or what have you, that a woman in her right mind would dare to go bare. Does anyone else see a dangerous trend starting? Ok, so it’s not new, but there are new heights of the cover-up going on and its an ugly, nasty truth that requires unveiling.

Are you that girl, the one who skitters on tip-toe feet out of bed in the morning to touch up yesterdays makeup before your partner awakens to discover the (eeeeeek!!) heinous, hideous beast you have transformed into overnight? Are you plastering on make-up for a simple run to a convenience store? Are you delighted to go camping with friends but are packing cosmetics and battery powered hair utensils? Do you put on “your face” to spend the day at home? Alone??

Houston, we have a problem.

And that problem is called insecurity. Without the mask of confidence that an application of cosmetics allows, there are women, and no doubt men, walking among us, afraid to be seen. However, with an an easy breezy disguise firmly in place, confidence is somehow achieved. And what the…? Really?

Let’s for a moment address the population of people that for clinical reasons may engage in a daily routine of covering up birthmarks and other various skin disfiguring conditions. Totally understood. No one wants to feel like they just came down from the bell tower to hump their way through Walmart while the villagers throw stones and hurl insults now do they?

However, going out on a limb here… I suggest that for most, the mask is meant to cover other scars. Deeply internalized twisted keloid tissue festering in a place that no amount of base can smooth away. Am I the littlest bit right here?

So please, confess, are you that person who doesn’t feel dressed unless you’re cosmetically blessed? Is the mirror reflecting something back to you that is so displeasing it simply must be falsely glamorized as the sun rises, slowly creeping in with its insinuating rays? Tell me true, are you strong enough to banish the powder puff? Will you drop the disguise of your masquerade eyes and look at who you really are and say, “Yeah, I’m feelin’ beautiful just as I am, thanks!”

Honestly, who is it that you are trying to impress out there anyway? The people who love you likely won’t even notice that you’ve left your facial camo off. And if people are starring, pointing and laughing at you (jk), they can pretty much go screw themselves. Almost certainly no one is going to run screaming away from you, are they? Fingers crossed for you this doesn’t happen. If going bare in one fell swoop just seems to daunting a task, try slowly dialing back on what make-up you would normally apply. Maybe one day, no lipstick. The next, leave off the blush as well. Keep it going until you are a gleamingly scrubbed free beauty, ready to sail out the door just as you are, unfettered by layer upon layer of liquid, powder and spackle. TA-DA!! You can do it!!

Robin Smyth has contributed to newsletters, business publications, inter-company webpages and blog sites. She has reported on multiple genres engaging a variety of styles and is known for her one draft, no edits style of writing. Follow her on Twitter @RobinDS3.