We noted the “power of makeup” earlier this week, and how it can completely change a person’s appearance. While products can help us put our best face forward, there’s one very particular instance when it’s not best to sport a ton of makeup: when it’s used to hide bruising or injuries from domestic violence. British Youtube makeup guru Lauren Luke stars in a new public service announcement that is trying to reach out to women who are in abusive relationships—and it’s one video that really shouldn’t be missed.
The tutorial, titled “How to Look Your Best The Morning After” was created in collaboration with British ad agency BBH and the advocacy group Refuge, which is focused on helping victims of domestic violence. At the beginning of the video, Luke appears badly bruised after presumably being beaten, and over the course of the tutorial, she explains how to cover her injuries with makeup. The end of the PSA offers up Refuge’s logo and contact information (refuge.org.uk/lauren) along with an urge to “Share this and help someone speak out.” The campaign’s main message, though, is the most important: Don’t cover it up.
It’s a brilliant spin on commonplace makeup tutorials, and will hopefully reach the 65 percent of women who keep their abuse hidden. Luke, who has been in an abusive relationship herself, explained the background to the video:
The bruising on my face for the video wasn’t real, but my emotions in that video were. I had a bad experience in the past with a previous boyfriend. He never physically hurt me but I did sometimes fear what would happen next if I said the wrong thing. He could be overprotective and embarrass me in front of my work colleagues or friends because of his aggressive behavior. Sometimes it was like living with a volcano which could erupt at any second—I felt I was walking on egg shells just to keep him from exploding and smashing something across the room.
She went on to say:
“To open up and be honest about something like this makes us feel weak among our friends and family, but in actual fact there is nothing weak about it. Those who are abusive behind closed doors are the ones who are weak. Back then I knew the whole situation wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know about the help that is out there. And that is why I wanted to work with Refuge—to get the message out to anyone who may need help and support that it’s time to stop covering it up.”
It’s a smart and hopefully effective way to reach out to women who are in tough circumstances, especially since many of Luke’s viewers are teenagers and young women.
No matter where you are, there are resources to help. While Refuge is based in the UK, here in the U.S., a good resource for information is the National Domestic Violence Hotline, along with this Helpguide.org page for abused and battered women.
What do you think of the video? Will you be sharing this to help spread the word?