By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – A local Facebook group that challenged its members to wipe off their make-up, strike a pose, and snap a selfie is taking their movement offline for a special meet and greet in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters this Thursday.
What started as a simple social media post, following an international online trend, has become a virtual safe haven for over 3,400 local members looking to break the stereotypes of glamorized beauty.
Marina Restinetti, founder of Cornwall’s ‘The Naked Face’ Facebook group, is mixing raw beauty with philanthropy to benefit the Go Girls! group mentoring project for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall & District.
The event takes place May 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Schnitzels European Flavours (158 Pitt Street) in Cornwall.
“I want to bring these ladies together in one place to exchange stories and spread a positive vibe,” said Restinetti.“Come fully faced or bare faced. Either way, come for the cause.”
The Cornwall resident has formed a small committee with fellow administrators of the group page to turn their online success into reality, by hosting charity events that promote personal growth by empowering women and strengthen their self-esteem.
“I decided to plan the event for three reasons: to help raise money for a great cause, to finally meet and discuss the future of this group with all or at least some of the members, and to remind people that we are still here and we will fulfill what we said we were going to do,” she said.
There are two prizes to be won at the meet and greet: a gift certificate for Pure Esthetics & Massage, and a care package from Schnitzels. The event is free, but tickets for the prizes are $5 for one or three for $10.
“Also available will be makeup remover wipes at $1 each for those who feel empowered enough to bare all for a good cause,” said Restinetti.
Amanda Brisson, executive director for the Cornwall and district agency, considers the event a major step in the right direction when it comes to empowering girls in this community to be who they are.
“All of the women in this group are empowering the children in our community,” said Brisson. “They are telling these girls it’s OK to be who you are. Big Brothers Big Sisters is so glad to be chosen as their charity of choice.”