NEW LONDON - You might not see it, but these New London High School girls are the new face of self-confidence.
"It was an idea just to have girls come and show that they are comfortable in their own skin," said junior Cambria Fitzgerald.
"No makeup day" was the idea of Fitzgerald and fellow juniors Jenna Mytton and Caitlin Schmidt. To prove to themselves and others true beauty is more than skin deep.
"Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it, so just because you don't wear makeup or you can't afford nice clothes you can be your own self and be just as beautiful," said Mytton.
And self-confidence is something these students say many young girls lack.
"There is a lot of pressure throughout high school and middle school and it really starts in middle school," said Fitzgerald.
"There is society's definition, which is skinny and flawless, but I don't think there really is a perfect person," said Schmidt.
"I've had problems with self-esteem when I was younger and through this I have learned so much," said Mytton.
"No makeup day" is part of a larger project the teens are calling the "true beauty campaign." What started as a school class assignment led to a workshop with middle school students about self-esteem issues. Other events are also in the works. More than 200 girls pledged not to wear makeup to school Thursday and more than 100 boys pledged to support their efforts.
"Girls have to be comfortable with themselves and just be confident," said junior Brett Handschke.
"I felt like if other people can do it I can do it too, it's not that big of a deal it's just makeup," said sophomore Grace Mroczynski.
The students wore stickers, bracelets and t-shirts which the girls are selling to fund future events.
"I think all of them feel a little bit more of a sense of community here, doing this together, even freshmen through seniors," said Missy Porath who teaches the students' enterprise marketing class.
A fresh look and a new attitude Fitzgerald says is catching on.
"It's what's inside that counts."
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