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Video: 'No makeup' girls redefining beauty

  1. Transcript of: 'No makeup' girls redefining beauty

    AMY ROBACH, co-host: A group of teenage girls from Texas are showing us all that beauty comes from within. For one day a week they go to school without wearing any makeup . It is a powerful message and it's catching on. Samantha Gibbs , Rachel Schutte , Nina Smith , Emily Gates and Caroline Tessler are the founders of the Redefining Beautiful campaign at Colleyville Heritage High School , and joining them is their faculty adviser Suzanne McGahey . Good morning and thanks for being with us.

    Group of Women: Good morning.

    ROBACH: Now, you guys, am I -- am I right, are you not wearing any makeup right now either?

    Women: No.

    Ms. EMILY GATES (Founder, Redefining Beautiful): No, ma'am.

    Ms. SUZANNE McGAHEY: Right.

    ROBACH: You look fantastic, and that's a tough thing to do on television with no makeup , but you guys look great. Samantha , let me start with you. The idea of Redefining Beauty , as you call it, where did it come from? Why did you guys decide to take a stand against makeup ?

    Ms. SAMANTHA GIBBS (Founder, Redefining Beautiful): Well, it came from the Web site called Operation Beautiful , and we're doing it to really encourage girls to know that they're beautiful in their own skin and that they don't have to try to have this self-confidence in beauty. And I wouldn't really consider it a stand against makeup , but it's a stand to know who you are, and just makeup is just one thing that all girls have, that we can say hey, take that off and show everyone at school who you really are and be confident about it as well.

    ROBACH: Rachel , I mean, it sounds great, but I know what it was like when I was in school , and there -- I'm sure the same way today, a lot of pressure to look a certain way, to dress a certain way. Was it difficult walking into school that first day without any makeup ?

    Ms. RACHEL SCHUTTE (Member, Redefining Beautiful): Yeah, definitely. I mean, school is basically like a fashion show , and the hallways are the runway. And, you know, it was really difficult to totally take a stand against what everyone else does and what everyone else sees and expects, like, and we want to, you know, let everyone feel comfortable in like wearing whatever they want to wear, with or without makeup . So we just wanted to like break down that, you know, fashion show thing and like make it easier, yeah, make it like easier for people to not wear makeup and look however they want to look.

    ROBACH: And, Nina , by choosing not to wear makeup every Tuesday, what kind of reaction have you gotten from your fellow classmates?

    Ms. NINA SMITH (Founder, Redefining Beautiful): Our peers have been really supportive of it, and we've gotten so much positive reaction from it. The -- all the teachers are really on board with it. Our parents, especially, too, they're all really supportive. We get e-mails all the time about, 'Oh, you ladies are doing such a wonderful job,' you know. It's just really empowering to know that we've made an impact on girls ' self-confidence throughout our school , and you can really tell walking through the hallways that girls are just more confident, they're smiling more, they're -- it's just great.

    ROBACH: That's fantastic. And we should mention there are now over 200 members of your club. Emily , we talked about some of the reaction from your students, you hear about teachers and parents, but how have the guys reacted? Because I imagine that might be the most important test. What have you heard from the boys in your school ?

    Ms. GATES: Well, the guys have been really supportive of it as well. Like they'll always ask us, 'Where's our shirts?' and so we started up a guys support group that -- we made them shirts, and it's been really exciting to know that guys are behind us as well, because a lot of girls depend on that support from guys, and so we have that. And it's just really encouraging to have that.

    ROBACH: And, Caroline , I mentioned you have 200 members now of your group, but where do you see this going? Is it catching on to other schools? Would you like to see this go nationwide, worldwide?

    Ms. CAROLINE TESSLER (Founder, Redefining Beautiful): We would definitely love to see our message, you know, go out past our school and past our state, and outside of the country, too, would be amazing. And one of the first steps we're doing right now that we can -- we see we can do is we're doing a lot of service projects for areas close around here, you know, because we want to reach out not just to girls in school , but to other women in general and other people in general, just to try and tell them that like your true self is beautiful, that like, you know what, no matter what has happened to you, it doesn't change who you are and it doesn't matter because, you know, you're always beautiful and you're always just yourself, and that's what's amazing. And another thing we're -- hopefully by the end of this weekend we're going to have a Web site up so we can have guidelines online so that anyone can just go to this Web site , look at the guidelines and, you know, start it up at their school and they don't have to contact us . So they will have little tips that helped us. So we're hoping to have that up as soon as possible.

    ROBACH: Well, Suzanne , I know you must be proud of all your girls . Such smart, intelligent and beautiful girls sans makeup . Thank you all for joining us this morning. We really appreciate it. We hope it catches on.

By
TODAY contributor
updated 10/21/2010 12:03:07 PM ET 2010-10-21T16:03:07

Nina Smith, 16, could not wait until her mother finally gave her the green light to wear makeup about five years ago. But now the Texas high school junior can't wait until Tuesdays roll around — the one day of the week she and some 200 other girls at her school forego their lipstick, mascara and other beauty products.

Nina says she enjoys the extra 30 minutes of sleep on Tuesdays, but that's not why she bypasses the makeup bag. She and five other girls formed a club at Colleyville Heritage High School this year. They wanted to send a small, symbolic statement that girls don't need all the goop and glitter to be beautiful.

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Their message was heard loud and clear. The school-sanctioned club — Redefining Beautiful: One Girl at a Time — quickly grew to 200 members. Boys at the school even formed a support group to encourage the girls.

"We didn't think it was going to catch on, because people are self-conscious about how they look. It's high school: You want to look your best," Nina told TODAYshow.com. "To have over 200 girls, it's crazy."

Video: Post-it notes help women feel beautiful

But catch it on it did. Not only at Colleyville, but surrounding school districts and others from as far away at the Netherlands who have heard about the club.

Only skin-deep
The formation of the club at Colleyville and the wide interest in it at other schools is reflective of the growing dissatisfaction many have with the message spread by TV, magazines and the Internet that girls have to look a certain way to be attractive, said Suzanne McGahey, the club's faculty adviser.

"It is definitely a response to that ... I think the girls wanted to send a positive message that you can be beautiful no matter what the circumstances," McGahey said. "It's about empowerment and self-affirmation for younger girls."

Related: ‘Operation Beautiful’ — just say no to fat talk!

The girls wear sky-blue T-shirts with their club logo on Tuesdays. As a show of support, boys at the school will soon wear dark-gray Ts with purple lettering that says "Give me that girl" on the front and "That's the you I like best" on the back.

"It's really all been positive. Everyone's really excited," Nina Smith said.

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According to Smith, the movement was inspired this summer by a mentor to the girls who referred them to a website called "Operation Beautiful," which was featured on TODAY in August. The site encourages women and those who love them to leave little notes around reminding them they are beautiful and loved, regardless of how they might look physically.

"I have heard about the Colleyville girls, and think they are amazing," said Operation Beautiful founder Caitlin Boyle, 26.

"Those girls are looking inward to define their own worth and not allowing their worth to be determined by outside sources, such as magazines, makeup companies, boys, or the impossible standards of beauty set upon women, and men, by society," Boyle said. "I really admire their efforts."

For more information about Operation Beautiful, visit their website by clicking here.

 

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