What is Girlcott?

A movement of women willing to go makeup free each March (Women’s History Month), to

  • raise awareness about the relationship between women and makeup and about the issues “faced” by women today and to:
  • raise money (the amount usually spent in a month on cosmetics) for organizations and programs serving women and girls in Connecticut and around the world.

What inspired Girlcott?

Eve Ensler spoke in Hartford in 2004, before her production of The Good Body!  She commented that cosmetics are a billion dollar industry per month, internationally, and that cosmetic consumption diverts our resources and our attention from things that matter.  In that moment, an idea was born.  Why not “girlcott” makeup for a month and donate that money to organizations and programs that help women and girls?  Why not have programming that gives women the opportunity to come together and have real conversations about the burning issues that women still experience today:  violence, lack of pay equity, poor body image, objectification, trafficking, health issues, the toxicity of makeup, itself, etc., so that cosmetics would cease siphoning off our resources and our attention.

What does Girlcott consist of besides a girlcott of makeup?

Since September 2012 we have presented films and performances and organized panel discussions, lectures, all dealing with issues facing women.  We also started “Makeup Sex Groups,” i.e. groups gathering monthly to discuss the intimate relationship between women and the makeup they wear!  We supply the kick-off questions each month on our website.  This March, the programming will intensify, starting with the opening of “Revealed:  Hartford Women Leaders Who Bared to Make Change,” an exhibit of photographs taken of over 30 Hartford women leaders sans makeup.  In addition:

  • We are doing a production of Eve Ensler’s newest work, I am an Emotional Creature, on March 7th at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, starring Ethel Walker students.
  • Women are blogging on our website, taking pictures of themselves without makeup and uploading them in our web “portrait gallery.”
  • We will be meeting to discuss how to confront the persistent problem of rape and assault on our college campuses and will move into advocacy and action as we prepare for Girlcott 2014.

Who’s Involved So Far?

The Charter Oak Cultural Center, The Women’s Leadership and Education Fund and Women for Change at the University of Hartford, YWCA of the Hartford Region,  CT Humanities, The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, The Ethel Walker School, University of Saint Joseph, Trinity College, The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Grace Academy, The CT River Academy

What is the goal?

To achieve gender justice.

How can I get involved?

  • Pledge to go makeup free for the month of March, 2013 (or even for a day, week, etc.)
  • Donate the money you would have spent on cosmetics to a local or global organization that supports women and girls
  • If you don’t wear makeup, make a donation that feels right for you
  • Organize or participate in a “makeup sex” discussion (see website)
  • Write a blog for our website
  • Send in your makeup free picture and bio to our online gallery (see website)
  • Help organize Girlcott 2014
  • Help make Girlcott a national and international initiative!

Need more information?

Contact Donna Berman at

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