In the age of fleeky brows and Kardashian-esque contouring, the marvels of makeup are everywhere.
The overwhelming power of social media has only added to this: from perfecting your winged liner to creating a fierce red lip, a flawless face is simply a Youtube click away. Instagram has become a threshold for the latest makeup tips and tricks, allowing novices and others alike to hone their skills.
While social media is helpful and super informative, it is also a breeding ground for trolls. At any day at any time, you can scroll through the comment section and find people being dragged by Internet thugs that are living behind a screen.
This is exactly what happened to Stacy Pierre-Louis when she became the face of a meme that mocked and degraded her for wearing make-up to enhance her existing features.
On the eve of her 23rd birthday, Stacy opted to have her face “beat” by celebrity make-up artist Theresa Francine. After agreeing to have before-and-after photos taken of her, Stacy’s beauty makeover was posted to Francine’s Facebook page where her photos went viral.
Comments ranging from celebratory to volatile began to overwhelm the post to the point where Francine had to take it down. The following day, Stacy logged into her Instagram account to find photos of her beauty transformation being shamed, mainly by men.
“At first, I wasn’t going to even give this attention. I was going to take the high road,” the 23-year-old said of the incident. “But I felt that I needed to take a stand for others who have been victims of cyberbullying.”
After much contemplating, Stacy not only decided to address her haters but twirl on them by turning their negativity into an inspiring movement titled #BeautyOverBullying. The social media campaign encourages women to post makeup-less selfies, using the hashtag, in an effort to bring awareness to cyberbullying and embrace their inner beauty.
“The hashtag was an important concept because it got people involved,” Stacy explained exclusively to HelloBeautiful. “It gave everyone something to contribute to the movement.”
Shortly after launching the campaign, photos of bare face women began to circulate on Facebook and Instagram. Stacy’s video response also amassed an incredible amount of support. The video which had been uploaded to YouTube received over 10,000 views within less than 4 hours.
“People who had I never even met before were posting selfies,” Stacy said.
The overwhelming support was a true testament to the power of social media. Some supporters even lived as far as London, proving that a powerful message has no limits. The experience has been a humbling one for Stacy.
“I’ve learned there are so many people out there supporting you,” Stacy said.
“People who you don’t even know are looking out for you. I did not realize that I had such a support system behind me. I was so thankful for that.”
In standing for something she believed in, Stacy has gained more than she could have ever imagined from this experience. By using her platform to address a growing epidemic in our Internet-obsessed culture, the Long Island native has in her own words “put a new face to bullying.”
Makeup shaming is tasteless and demeaning. But it is even more so degrading when carried out by men. Wearing makeup is a personal choice and should be treated as such. As women we are often subjected to extreme criticism especially when it comes to our bodies. In 2016, if you think a woman was born with gold eyelids – you need to get over yourself.
Owning your flaws takes courage and I commend Stacy for not only taking a stance on cyberbullying but turning a living nightmare into an inspiring movement. Shine on, beauty!