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An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 girls in 37 states and seven countries took a pledge with Rave Ministries to not wear makeup in November.
"Rave is all about building a community," says Janna Beth Hunt, spokeswoman for the ministry. "We wanted girls to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. It's a lot easier to do a 30-day fast from makeup when you have community and encouragement."
This is the second year Rave Ministries launched a campaign for girls to not wear makeup in November, and participation has exploded via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Using the hashtag #NMN, participants have created an online presence encouraging each other on the social networks.
"The goal is for girls to find their worth in God," Hunt says. "Because of society, the world tells us we have to look a certain way to be beautiful, but God says we are beautiful because He made us."
Lauren King, a Rave Ministries leader, was inspired by Brooke Ferguson's journey of going 40 days without makeup in the summer of 2012. A Lipscomb University student, Ferguson vlogged about the experience.
"Lauren called her sister, Becca King Daniel, and challenged us to do it," Hunt says. "This was a chain reaction of phone calls because Becca called me and challenged us to do it. I was like, 'No, ma'am. Lauren and Brooke are in college, not 30. I'm not doing this.' But then Lauren really challenged us by calling us out, so to speak. She reminded us that we speak to girls about finding their worth and beauty in God. It didn't take long until we were all in."
Girls who pledge to not wear makeup are asked to focus on Song of Solomon 4:7: "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you" (NIV).
"We want girls to believe that they are beautiful because they were created and that's enough," Hunt says. "We do want people to know that this is not an anti-makeup campaign. We wear makeup and like it. It's just a 30-day fast to let God speak truth into our lives instead of lies that culture feeds us."
When a girl pledges to not wear makeup, she can purchase a No Makeup November package that includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, a bracelet and an #NMN sticker.
"We are actually all sold out of the packages," Hunt says.
Leaders post daily devotions encouraging participants.
Hunt adds that Rave Ministries has received numerous testimonies—such as one girl who said, "Going makeup-less has made me pay more attention to how I treat others. I feel the need to be extra nice to others because I can't rely on the way I look. Humbling."
Another girl said, "I cannot even begin to tell you how much this has inspired me and gotten me through the darkest 2 weeks I have ever had!"
Jessica Owens tweeted, "#NMN For I am made in his image and therefore his beauty shines through me."
Bonnie Irwin, 16, from Nashville, tweeted, "8 days left in #nmn. Can't believe I've come this far."
Lauren Swanson tweeted that she was "letting [her] Heavenly Father be [her] make-up artist."
Leilani Haywoodis the editor of SpiritLed Woman and a frequent contributor to Charisma. She is an award-winning writer who has been published in The Kansas City Star, Focus on the Family, Metrovoice Newspaper and many other publications.
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