MU Women organize a \'Taking Back Beauty\' campaign

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Panhellenic Association is halfway through its first 'Taking Back Beauty Week'. The women are challenging each other, and others, to go make-up free for the entire week.

The idea behind the concept is to challenge all women to see their beauty and worth behind the make-up and clothes they wear. 

Carolyn Welter, PHA Vice-President of Public Relations said the idea originated from a thought that there was a need for a community of women to call attention to and to talk about the issues that surround their body image and their looks. 

"To do something that would force women to have those conversations and think about beauty standards that are put on women," said Welter. 

The week kicked off Monday when PHA hosted Erin Foley, a professional speaker and life coach.  

Welter said one of the main take-aways she gained from Foley's presentation is there are so many standards on women in today's world and often women are expected to have a sort of humility and softness to them. She said this idea could actually be hurting women because as Foley pushed that it's okay for women to have a 'healthy confidence.'

"Cocky women stand on others to feel better about themselves. Confident women bring others up with her," said Foley. 

"It's ok for women to feel good about themselves and feel good about who they are, I think is really important," said Welter. 

Part of the movement PHA is encouraging women to not only go make-up free this week, but to also begin the conversation on social media with their make-upless selfies and the hashtag #Iammore. 

Katie Newell participated in the campaign with a picture of her own, she said she loves to wear make up and it's been refreshing not wearing any this week. Newell said society has made this unattainable image that women should try to attain and it doesn't make sense. 

Newell's post read, "For those of you that know me, I have been wearing foundation that doesn't match my unusually pale skin and absurd amounts of eyeliner since I was 12 and I can count on my hands how many times I have been in public without makeup. So here's to you "Taking back beauty week" #iammore." 

After posting the picture, Newell said she was overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback. 

"A lot of people said like, 'this is amazing' and I think it was, I don't know, I felt good about doing it," said Newell. 

The 'Taking Back Beauty Week' continues Thursday with a 'Love your body festival'.