A group of young Christian women have decided to take on "No Makeup November," a nationwide campaign dubbed as a call to arms in order to embrace their natural beauty by abstaining from wearing makeup for the entire month.
Rave Ministries is behind the initiative for its second year and has about 4,000 participants in 37 states and seven countries. The idea came about when Becca Daniel, leader of the organization, took a cue from a Florida-based girl who posted videos during her 40-day no makeup journey in 2012.
"This campaign in no way is an anti-makeup campaign, because let it be known that it is not the makeup that we are battling. Instead, it is a culture that we are trying to fight. A culture that tells our young girls, mothers, and yes, even grandmothers that they are not close to being good enough," says the organization through their website.
Daniel told the Christian Post that girls as young as high school-aged students to middle-aged women are taking the vow to live life temporarily makeup free. Apparently, the challenge for some young women has been that while participating in No Makeup November they have had to shift focus on their personality when engaging with others.
"They're doing really well, when you're a part of something with so many people, it empowers you and makes you so much more confident," said Daniel. "The hardest is the first 10 days, after that they encourage their friends who then say, 'I can get used to this.' It's almost liberating."
In the United States, the average woman spends $15,000 on makeup in her entire lifetime, according to mint.com. Statistics also show that $382 billion of the global beauty industry is supported by an estimated 85 percent of female consumers.
While makeup itself is not the battle that Rave Ministries is choosing to take on, they do emphasize that participating in their challenge can also be rewarding by saving money when girls refrain from spending on beauty products.
Although their message has resonated loud and clear to some, others have given the campaign some pushback, Daniel says. However, the overall participation has been overwhelming for Daniel and her team at Rave Ministries, who credit the engagement of thousands of girls this year due to their promotion efforts via social media outlets, especially Instagram.
"Day by day as we go through this journey we pray that our focus becomes less based on the fact that we aren't wearing any makeup, and instead, focused intently on the lessons that we are learning from the greatest makeup artist of all times – God," says their website.
Rave Ministries is a non-denominational ministry with no affiliation to a specific church or school. They are "just a group of girls who love Jesus and exist to build community rooted in truth for teen girls." Their initiative follows the footsteps of the popular "Movember" movement that involves men throughout the world growing out their moustaches during the month of November in support of men's health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
Unlike the beard-growing initiative, No Makeup November is a nonprofit project that runs on funds collected through the sale of "NMN" t-shirts.