Operation Flawless: A Confessional Recap

Originally posted at Mad Art Lab

I want to thank every single person who contributed even a single selfie. You are all amazing. You are all beautiful. And it is your faces that helped me keep going. I love and respect all of you. I know it was hard. I bow down to you.

Monday was the end of Operation Flawless, a social media campaign encouraging women to reject conventional beauty standards and post “unattractive” selfies.

I spent the month showing off my un-made-up face—sometimes overly made up with yesterday’s eyeliner running down my eye bags—and my body in various stages of undress.

As the project began, I felt confident in my ability to complete it. I’ve been taking ironic selfies since the my first moments on Instagram… and even before that. I knew I could handle the emotions that would emerge as the month went on.

What surprised me was how hard this was for so many women, some taking hours to post their photos out of fear. Some posting and removing. Some posting and spending several days crying over the anxiety of knowing the world was going to see them at their “worst”. After about a week, I realized I was doing it wrong. I would snap a shot then redo the shot if I didn’t like it enough… maybe my eyes looked buggy or you could see my smile lines. I wasn’t even being true to my own project.

I made a promise to myself, and silently to all of you, that I would knock that shit off. I would take a picture and as long as it wasn’t too blurry or dark, I would post it as is.

By the end, I was spent. Over a week ago, I was ready to quit Operation Flawless. My bare face, my ugly face, my unwashed face was all over the internet. My Instagram is no longer littered with adorable photos of my children and drunken shenanigans and funny things I see as I go about my day. Now it was littered with my face, looking back at me, in all of it’s flawed glorilessness. I didn’t want to look at me anymore. I didn’t want to portray myself like that anymore.

My real regret, which I thought would be my proudest moment of the project…

Continue Reading at Mad Art Lab


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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