The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 13, 2013

Girls skip makeup for a good cause

Kelly Urban
kurban@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — It’s time for girls to feel more comfortable in their own skin.

That’s the message Bryanna Yahnert, a junior at Conemaugh Valley High School, hopes girls in the school will embrace and be empowered to feel confident about the way they look.

The 17-year-old came up with the idea to have a day where girls would come to school wearing no makeup and not style their hair as a way to show off their natural beauty.

She then took that a step further and decided to sell T-shirts in support of the cause. Proceeds will go to the Women’s Help Center.

“I saw something like this in a magazine a while back and thought it would be a good idea to do this in our school,” Bryanna said.

So on Wednesday, about 200 girls – sans makeup – and even two boys wore the hot pink T-shirt to school.

The front of the shirt reads “Society Kills Us” and the back, “You’re Beautiful No Matter What!”

“I feel like girls think they have to be really skinny or look a certain way to fit in, but you can be curvy or have blemishes, it doesn’t matter because you are fine the way you are,” Bryanna said.

A total of 227 shirts were sold, some to people outside of the school, and it brought in $1,350 for the help center.

Kathie McBreen, a teacher at the school and faculty adviser for the project, called Bryanna’s idea and the concept behind it “fantastic” and said student reaction has been mostly positive.

“Young girls need to understand they don’t have to be perfect,” McBreen said. “For the younger girls here to see juniors and seniors not afraid to do this and come to school without makeup, it sends a strong message.”

Bryanna plans to do the project again next year.

“I’m surprised at how much money we raised. It’s amazing the support it’s received,” she said.

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