And they were all together Thursday at the Charter Oak Cultural Center where the Girlcott “Revealed: Images of Women who Bared To Make Change” exhibit opened with a reception to celebrate women and who they are, not who they are “made up” to be.
“I had no second thoughts about doing it,” said Greater Hartford Arts Council CEO Cathy Malloy, who is also the wife of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “I was pleased that the pictures came out so well,” she said, explaining about the morning shoot that was a “no make-up allowed” portrait session. “I thought it was a great idea.”
Photographers Nilofer Haider, Lena Stein and Nicolette Theriault took the natural-looking photos of more than 30 well-known Hartford women ranging from State Senator Beth Bye, WFSB anchor Kara Sundlun and Wadsworth CEO Susan Talbot to Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and YWCA head Deb Ullman. Most agreed that while they could not give a little “enhancement” up forever, the portraits allowed them to really see that they didn’t look half bad without the daily regimen of mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick .
“I guess the ones who really love us see our inner beauty rather than how we appear when we have make-up on,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, Hartford’s marketing, events and cultural affairs division director. Admitting she modeled when she was younger, a hobby that meant a lot of cosmetics, Newman-Scott said she found the “bare” experience “wonderful.”
“When the picture was taken it was really early in the morning,” she explained. “My bigger concern than no make-up was what the bags under my eyes looked like,” she said laughing.
Part of the reason for the exhibit underwritten by the Connecticut Humanities, is to encourage women to go without make-up for the month of March and donate that money to organizations that benefit women and girls.
And among those who plan to give it a try that were three students from University of Hartford who were there to see a portrait of one of their professors, Mala Matacin, who was one of the women featured in the exhibit.
“I understand the message here,” said Claire Capozzi, who is a member of the university’s “Women for Change” organization. “We are more than make-up.”