Makeup blogger Yasaman Gheidi, who uses the social media handle @lilmoonchildd on Instagram, is trying to use makeup to raise awareness of mental health illnesses.
In a tutorial posted on Monday (which was also posted on YouTube), Gheidi introduced her more than 70,000 followers to the "Inside Out Challenge," which she says "is a way to artistically represent what some of us feel on a day to day basis.""Many people quietly suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses due to social stigma," she wrote. "The challenge: using makeup create an outward expression of what you or others feel on the inside."In Gheidi's own tutorial, which she also posted on YouTube, she created a visual representation of the difference between her public self and private self by painting half her face as she usually would, and then on the other half of her face, she painted it all blue, with darkness around her eye that looks like a puddle of tears. "This particular look that I did depicts what I present to others vs. what I sometimes feel on the inside," she wrote. "I had no idea what makeup I wanted to do on the 'inner self' half of my face, I just went with what I was feeling." To spread the Inside Out Challenge further, Gheidi is encouraging fans to also paint their faces according to how they feel and tag their makeup looks with #InsideOutChallenge so she can share them on her own page.
"To be honest I was really nervous when I created the video, but everyone has been so incredible," Gheidi said in an interview with Mic. "I've received some of the most heart warming messages from people around the world. Many people have embraced this challenge and have not only created a look, but have shared personal struggles whether it be their own or how it has affected someone they know. I am beyond thankful for everyone's support — I, along with many others who live with a mental illness, appreciate the awareness this is bringing to an issue all too often forgotten."In subsequent posts showing off the look, she told her followers about a recent anxiety attack, and what this challenge means to her. Although Gheidi's new challenge may seem inconsequential, what Gheidi ultimately wants is to start a conversation about mental health and with each selfie or tutorial, to break down the stigma against mental illness.
"There are so many people who silently suffer with mental illness," Gheidi told Mic. "Those people who struggle are your friends, they are your co-workers, they are your family members — they are familiar faces. Far too many people choose not to talk about their struggle for fear of judgement, alienation, bullying or many other negative effects. It's far past due that we, as a community, work together to create a safe place where we can talk about it and truly take steps into helping those with mental illnesses."You can watch Gheidi's entire Inside Out tutorial below:
Jan. 13, 2016, 11:49 a.m. This story has been updated.