Could You Go One Year Without Shaving Or Wearing Makeup? I Couldn’t

This morning I read a really cool story about a woman from Massachusetts, Phoebe Baker Hyde, who stopped shaving, wearing makeup and doing her hair for a full year. As someone who spends way too much time shaving, putting on her makeup and focusing on her hair, I was fascinated. This woman talked about how stopping her daily beauty regime made her feel liberated and more beautiful than ever.

Why did Phoebe do this? She explained on the show Katie that she was sort of starting to feel trapped by her shaving cream, makeup and hair supplies. Before you say that sounds ridiculous, listen to how she explains it – you might be able to relate. She said, “I had become a nervous, critical, angry, insecure woman. I was not the woman or the role model I wanted to be, especially in front of a big-eyed baby daughter. I was at war with the word around me and at war with myself.”

Phoebe went on to explain that she threw out her makeup and cut off all of her hair so that she literally had to put no effort into her appearance. Every day, she “did what a man would do” and only put on deodorant and used a little hair gel. She saved tons of money on beauty supplies, started feeling super comfortable with herself and also gained a lot more free time. Okay, let’s just stop right here. I’m not only fascinated by this woman… I’m also really jealous.

I fee like I could never give up my beauty regime. I feel naked without makeup. I feel uncomfortable when I don’t shave. And I will miss out on events if I’m having a really bad hair day.  Before you call me superficial, hear me out. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t feel this way… but I do. And I honestly can’t imagine a life without wearing makeup, doing my hair or shaving. But I wish I could.

I mean, I love makeup a lot (just look at my bedroom for proof), but I’ve had some moments where I wish it didn’t exist. As much as I love the way eye shadow and eye liner can change up and glam up your entire look, there are some days when applying it is just, ugh, exhausting. Sure, I’ve gone out without makeup on before – but in general, you’ll always catch me with at least a little mascara, eyeliner and foundation on. I just enjoy the way I look with a little makeup on my face.

As for shaving? Don’t even get me started. I hate shaving. Like really, really hate it. But, I don’t know, I just couldn’t imagine going a week, let alone an entire year, without using a razor. Feeling clean shaven makes me feel good about myself. It’s the same with my hair – as annoying as it can be to blow dry it or curl it or whatever, I always feel more confident whenever my hair looks good. Always. Also? Most of the time I like taking a long time to get ready to go somewhere. It’s kind of like my me time.

The point is, I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with feeling more confident from shaving or wearing makeup or doing your hair. I think that everyone feels confident from different things and I think that generally people should do what works for them. But I can also admire a woman who can stop doing all of those things and feel confident in her own skin. That’s pretty cool. And I’m jealous because, seriously, think about all of the free time I would have if I stopped shaving and doing my makeup and hair? So much free time! I would stop being late everywhere and also I could watch more TV. That’s pretty important.

In the end, I think this would be kind of a cool experiment to try… one day. Maybe not any day soon. Because as jealous as I am of this woman, I do genuinely enjoy my beauty regime… and I don’t see us parting any time soon.

What do you think? Could you go a year without shaving or wearing makeup or doing your hair? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.


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  • Olivia esddms

    For any recent readers who stumbled here: it’s called peer pressure. When you “fit in” everything is fine and dandy, but the moment you break a norm (often arbitrary), you feel awful because the group disapproves. You might internalise several of those pointless norms.

    We’re bombarded on all sides with an utterly unrealistic beauty standard for women, and yes, ladies, even for men. Woman have to be thin, wear what amounts to a face mask, and be delicate, whereas men have to be top-heavy, ab centered, and strong-but-compassionate.

    This creates things like anorexia and bulimia, compulsive makeup application or shaving, general feelings of shame and inadequacy if your body is not up to snuff.

    We’re social beings, and we crave acceptance by society. But blindly following norms is exactly the same mehanism that leads to totalitarianism. Only this time, it’s the dictatorship of the body image.

    The same applies for other things, like wealth (or percieved wealth), age-appropriate “milestones,” and so on.

    Edit: Typos.

  • Noname

    easy! i already don’t shave or were make up

  • Short and Proud

    Make-up yes. No problem at all. Shaving, definitely not. Though I did go a long time without shaving before. It just feels gross if I don’t. I do wear some make-up, so maybe on that. I never wear lip-stick, mascara, eye-liner, or anything across those lines. Maybe a little foundation.

  • Kristian

    I totally could. lol! I already don’t wear that much make-up, unless its a really formal event. And, not to toot my own horn but, I don’t really need it. Toot toot!
    Also, I already don’t shave my legs during the fall and winter because, well, its f@%king winter. its cold. my legs wont be exposed anyway so who cares.
    Shaving and make-up and all that, its just a societal thing. some cultures don’t do any of this. it really isn’t a big deal, its your body. do what you want.

    • insecureaboutmybody

      im nt allowed to shave due to some traditons and stuff i cant go in details but im so insecure i see girls wearing short shorts while im fully covered

  • Marie

    Makeup yes since I don’t wear it much. Shaving no. I have some pretty nasty armpits.

    • yssubramanyam

      arm pits are very stimulating centers..

  • basschick

    i do not shave that often (you should should see what my legs look like under my pants during the winter), do not put to much make up on if i even do, and love my hair natural. hell. i could do this. only thing that sucks is the judgment of not be proffessional enough it my new more proffessional job. :/

  • Axiality

    I rarely shave and I never wear make up. Why would I? Make up is terrible for your skin and it just feels gross. I only wear pants and long sleeve shirts so I never have to shave and I would only shave my you know if my girlfriend wants me to. I just really don’t give a crap.

  • Janice

    As a matter of fact, I never wear make up. I’ve never even tried to do so. I just don’t like it. At all. However, I think girls are totally free to wear it if they enjoy it. The same goes for the hair. I don’t usually spend more than 5 minutes doing it. My biggest achievement up until now is a ponytail. And I like it that way. As for shaving, I don’t enjoy doing it, as I feel I’m wasting way too much time. But I feel clean, though, so I shave every 2 weeks : )

  • Stephanie

    I think I could go without make up! I definitely wouldn’t go without shaving….I’d feel manly and kinda gross too!

  • Jaryn

    I normally don’t do much with my hair anyway, since I really like how it naturally looks, and I’ve never really needed to shave. The only thing for me would probably be makeup. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I never wore any — everyone’s seen me without makeup before since I only wear it sometimes — but I do like it and it makes me feel more confident.

  • irene

    Shaving and wearing makeup shouln’t be mandatory chores! they aren’t, really.

  • Jillian

    I can live without makeup and doing my hair (I leave it at the same hairstyle every day anyway), but I can’t go without shaving. I just can’t.