Friday, October 12, 2012

Feminist Student Union gets ‘Fresh’

By Taylor Lunka, Guest Writer

Feminist Student Union members joined together to show they do not think women need makeup to feel beautiful.

On Oct. 5, the Feminist Student Union (FSU) tabled in the Anderson University Center Friday afternoon selling t-shirts and asking students to take off their makeup and write down why they are beautiful on signs.

Students and staff were photographed with their “I love my fresh face because…” signs and the pictures are posted on the Feminist Student Union’s Facebook page.
Students wrote a range of reasons, from “my sense of humor” to “my collection of books.” The signs will be put into a collage and hung in the Women’s Center. The day, dubbed “Fresh Face Friday,” was an idea the FSU chose from the website http://www.missrepresentation.org/. The site describes a social action campaign in honor of the film “Miss Representation,” a documentary that challenges some of the portrayals of women in the media. According to the site, the campaign’s mission is to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, can fulfill their potential.”

People were able to hash tag “freshfacefriday” to create an online conversation on Twitter about society and its views on makeup.

Senior Laura Ewton, president of the FSU, said she wants students to know that the value of a person “doesn’t lie in their appearance.” Ewton said she thinks a person’s value “lies in their personality or their intelligence” and there is no need to wear makeup all of the time. 

The FSU wants students to reflect on the way the media views beauty because it has a huge affect on the way people see themselves, Ewton said. Senior Nina Hartsel, a member of the FSU who participated in Fresh Face Friday, said she “refuses to let the media define who I am.”

“I want my friends, family and community to know they are beautiful and precious even if they don’t fit a narrow, air brushed ideal,” Hartsel said. “I want to change the way beauty is defined in our society. It should be a celebration of health, diversity, joy, love, community and the miracle that is living.”

By taking a day to go against the media’s messages and removing their makeup, “women are empowered to define beauty in whatever way is real and honest to them,” Hartsel said. 

Junior Kortney Scroger, co-leader of the FSU, said the purpose of Fresh Face Friday is made up of two parts. The first is to simply appreciate and recognize the beauty that everyone possesses. The second is to shine light on how media depicts beauty, Scroger said.

The campaign’s purpose is not to tell people that makeup is bad. The FSU just wants people to feel beautiful without it, Ewton said. Scroger said that Fresh Face Friday is a reflection of the FSU because it “promotes acceptance.”

“The fact that all women are beautiful, all people are beautiful, unique and equal. FSU seeks to promote equality, raise consciousness and to uplift spirits,” Scroger said. The FSU will help the Women’s Center host the event “Love Your Body Day” on Oct. 17. It will take place in the Anderson University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a “Be(YOU)tiful” runway show plus other activities to help students with their self confidence.

“It’s about loving who you are and not what other people think about you,” Ewton said.

Other upcoming events for the FSU include tabling at the next Sex Positive event Oct. 29 and in November the FSU will be hosting a photo contest on Facebook to determine who can take the “most creative photo with their shirt” and the winner will get a prize. Contact the FSU at fsu@plu.edu for any questions or if you are interested in joining the club.