Alumni Website 1-800-Renfrew

Providing clinical excellence within a nurturing environment—empowering women to change their lives.

In the media

Barefaced & Beautiful Presents: The Barefaced Challenge

"Barefaced Challenge" kicks off in conjunction with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

February 07, 2017

The Renfrew Center Foundation is supporting National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 26 through March 4) with the "Barefaced Challenge" - a unique twist on the organization's annual Barefaced & Beautiful campaign. The challenge invites participants to join with one or more friends, family members, classmates or colleagues to film a short video or snap a picture of them removing their make-up.

In addition to posting these videos and photos on social media (using @renfrewcenter; #barefacedbeauty; #barefacedchallenge), each participant will be requested to share how she or he felt after the posting as a follow-up.

The Barefaced and Beautiful campaign, launched in 2012, mobilizes the public and encourages teens and adults to celebrate their natural beauty and take a stand against societal pressure to look "perfect" and achieve an unrealistic physical ideal.

According to The Renfrew Center Foundation, 50 percent of the population surveyed feels pressured to edit and alter their "real" selves before posting on social media. (See Harris Interactive Survey Results here.) This response to social media has the potential to heighten anxiety and set the stage for the development of eating disorders or addictions. Underlying Barefaced & Beautiful is the message that revealing your natural self can be an empowering experience.

Understanding that peer pressure plays a tremendous role in influencing individuals, especially teens and young adults, the "Barefaced Challenge" aims to harness this powerful force to support healthy behaviors and a positive self-image.

"People typically think of peer pressure as a negative influence. In contrast, participation in a positive group activity, such as the "Barefaced Challenge," can often increase motivation, help quell fears and even prompt individuals to risk changing their behaviors," says Adrienne Ressler, Vice President, Professional Development, The Renfrew Center Foundation. ''For those this campaign will affect, we consider it an act of courage for them to show themselves to the world without makeup. We hope most participants will have fun with their videos and benefit from the support of their friends and family members.

Ressler goes on to explain that the conversations that will emerge from the "Barefaced Challenge" are extremely important in encouraging women to form a healthier body image.

"We don't merely want to see what individuals look like without make-up, we want to hear how it makes them feel about themselves. We've learned from most teens and adults that going without make-up can be a liberating, self-affirming experience. For those who may not experience these positive reactions, we hope the 'Barefaced Challenge' leads to insight about what they might do to promote self-compassion and self-acceptance."

"Every year the number of participants who take action during Barefaced & Beautiful increases, which is extremely encouraging," says Ressler. "To us, this means we are moving ahead in our mission to celebrate natural, inner-beauty and to quiet the critical voices within which make us insecure and, thus, vulnerable to destructive behaviors such as eating disorders and/or addictions.'

To learn more about participating in "Barefaced & Beautiful Presents: The Barefaced Challenge," please go or check out our Facebook Page.