"The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes." - St. Teresa of Avila

This past weekend, I found myself in a group chat made up of my sisters from CFC Youth Northeast-A region. It was like any other group chat, joking around and (for us, at least) talking about our faith. 

Together, we decided to come up with a movement - a movement that would lift others up and encourage them to embrace their natural beauty. So we came up with #LiveSimplyMovement, in relation to the Gandhi quote, "Live simply so that others may simply live." Our motto would be "No makeup. No filter. God's initial creation." 

Now, no-makeup selfies and body positivity are nothing new, especially in the age of social media. But we wanted to create something that was Christ-centered and not simply about us. As young people, we are faced with such conflicting messages over who we should be, how we should act, etc. As young women, we're often pressured to wear makeup to cover our imperfections, or simply create a mask. And of course makeup itself isn't a bad thing - I myself have a beauty and fashion blog and will willingly shell out $48 for a makeup palette. Makeup is something that can be fun and empowering. But as much as we might say that we wear makeup for ourselves and not others, let's be real -  a percentage (large or small) of the times we wear makeup, it's to present and project ourselves in a certain way to other people, whether it's for other women, significant others or crushes, potential employers, or classmates.  

But think about it, makeup is such a temporary thing. You wash it away at the end of the day and your flawed face is what's left. And plus, we, especially in this part of the world, have such easy access to luxuries like makeup whether it's at a drugstore or the deluxe Laura Mercier palettes at Sephora. We have this money to spend and on what? Making ourselves different than how we actually look, for the sake of other people's satisfaction, and oftentimes, to make ourselves feel better.

So with the Live Simply Movement, we try to embody that Gandhi quote: "Live simply so that others may simply live." When we give up that selfish part of ourselves, we get in touch with God's initial creation and with God Himself, and perhaps learn to love ourselves and God by focusing on our physical and mental health.

In the span of almost a week, our movement has reached brothers and sisters and the inbetweeners across the globe, who have been posting selfies under the hashtag #LiveSimplyMovement and #LSM. What started in the Northeast region of the United States has spread to every state, to Canada, to the Philippines, England, France, even Vietnam and Brunei. It has spread so much love and self confidence and empowered so many.

So we challenge you to do it too. It seems easy - I thought it would be easy, and then I realized how much initial self-loathing I had for what I hid under makeup; scars, acne, weak brows. And then I smiled and saw how much joy could radiate from it and so that was how I posted my picture. 

And although this is a Christ based movement, we hope that it transcends barriers such as religion and gender and brings people together in a new way.

So start with a picture. Take a makeup free selfie or upload a picture of yourself where you are makeup free with the hashtags #LiveSimplyMovement and #LSM in the caption. Tag your friends in the picture and encourage them to do it too! I hope and pray that maybe I'll see your picture when I tap on the hashtags.