I don’t usually use this blog to write my thoughts and feelings. Honestly, it’s just a space for me to stalk other blogs, reblog pretty pictures and distract myself from life. But something has made my mind spin with MIXED thoughts and feelings and that doesn’t actually happen very often (I’m too passive). And when it does happen I usually don’t feel the need to tell anyone about it let alone you, anonymous internet.
So I feel like I should grasp hold of it while it lasts and express myself (LAWL). I need practice, trust.
So…….these no make up selfies….ey?
Right now I am hating on the world i.e. the populus of facebook. Are all my friends mindless sheep??? That’s too harsh right? RIGHT?
When this social media campaign first started to pop up on my newsfeed, my thoughts were not that different from the average Joe.
"Ooooh what’s this? She’s posted a "no make up selfie"….why is that a thing? Oh it’s for cancer, not getting the link. I really don’t give to charity enough."
No further thoughts were given until one day this happened:
No-makeup selfies raise £8m for Cancer Research UK in six days
And pretty much everyone I knew had posted a selfie and I received some nominations myself.
WOAH like woah! This is amazing.
Let me just take two issues separately.
1) No make up selfies are actually pretty great, IMO. It shifts peoples ideas about beauty for the positive.
Makes you wonder WHY those ideas need to be shifted in the first place but that’s life. Why is it so remarkable that girls are even doing this? Is it even newsworthy, really? Surely, by pointing this out you are actually pointing out that women should be concerned about their no make up face to begin with. And by the way WELL DONE, a MASSIVE CONGRATS for not wearing make up *sarcasm*. But like I said c’est la vie and it’s the fact that people are highlighting it and making a trend out of something so trivial that makes me hate life/people. (joke?)
In isolation no make up selfies are real and showcases natural beauty and thats preeeeettty cool and something I can always get behind. But as a trend….well, I was impolitely shocked to rediscover how shallow y’all are but it’s progress.
2) Raising awareness and money for Cancer research UK is even greater. Social media can be so scarily effective and powerful and I genuinely hope some good can come out of the money raised.
But where does the £3 go? Did you know a portion will probably go to making more adverts to raise money? Some of it may go to a completely futile research project. What I’m really wondering is: do you realise that cancer is not going to be cured as a result of you and your mates? No really, there is no magic cure. Cancer is hard and it’s not going away.
Ok so i’ve turned nastily sarcy now. But my points are
- Are you trying to clear your conscience and do your good deed for the day? / Just do what everyone else is doing because you are a mindless sheep? If YES educate yourself.
- Is this really cancer awareness? I’m pretty sure everyone knows what cancer is so what else do we know as a result of this campaign? Do you know how to pick up cancer in yourself or recognise it in someone else or something equally helpful? Are you aware of what it is feels like to treat your cancer with chemo that is incredibly painful and toxic to your body? I can’t even imagine it. If NO educate yourself.
- I see the good, honestly I do: women are empowering themselves, a certain amount of awareness is being raised and there are 10 new clinical trials being funded. Maybe I have high expectations of everyone but there is SO MUCH MORE people need to be aware of and should want to be aware of. When I see people using this campaign RIGHT, it’s so good. Some sincerely want to do their bit for a good cause and I can recognise that. But when I see ignorance and a kind of senseless conformity, we lose what’s important and it all becomes a distraction. Unfortunately, I’ve seen blatant examples of the latter which is what spurred this blog post.
Cancer awareness is so much more that what this campaign has given us. It takes more effort than taking a selfie, satisfying your sense of duty and taking part in the latest trend. One needs to engage with the realities of cancer and do it justice.
What on earth do I do to put these two issues together?
I think most of us can agree that the no make up selfie has NO RELEVANCE whatsoever to the real life experiences of cancer. What I’m seeing on my newsfeed are pictures of perfectly styled hair and wonderful lighting. Surely the no make up selfie is supposed to be representing the vulnerability and fragility of cancer patients. So where are the pictures of peeling skin and balding hair? No matter how I look at it/try and find a positive meaning in all this the more appalled I become.
"No make-up is perhaps society’s idea of ‘unattractive’, are we saying that cancer patients are unattractive? How about statements like look at my pale face without foundation, are you suggesting you could look sick like a cancer patient?
Or people who might say, oh my goodness, my eyelashes are so thin without mascara, at least you have eyelashes to put it on.
No make-up in the photo, so you will make your hair look super pretty, cancer patients don’t have that luxury.
What a sacrifice it was for you to wear no make-up for about five minutes this morning … a cancer patient may become sensitive to make-up and unable to wear any, a lot of the time my make-up was an inch of sun cream, as the chemo made my skin prone to sunburn.”
Taken from an article by young cancer sufferer, Lesley
Read more: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Hoddesdon-and-Broxbourne/Give-up-selfies-and-raise-some-true-awareness-for-those-who-have-suffered-are-suffering-and-yet-to-suffer-20140324162421.htm#ixzz2x1pxjs6E
Honestly, it’s been a waste of my head space now that I look back on the whole experience with fb. (still happy about the money being raised)
Cancer has an image; illness embodied. A loss of dignity, a vulnerability. An immeasurable sadness. I wish there had been a homage to this from the start. I’m constantly reminded how much money has been raised and nothing will make me doubt the goodness of that and every single person behind that, but this is more than money. I feel it has turned into a dumbing down of such an important and sensitive issue. This is not just “a bit of fun”.
WHY DON’T PEOPLE THINK MORE?
So I said I hate people and I feel the need to take that back. I don’t hate. Especially not those who have posted a no make up selfie. Haha. Why? I was nominated thrice: I donated and I took a no make up selfie too. (I think I’ll attach it to this post actually for completeness and irony). I felt pressure from my fb friends to join in, I didn’t want them to think badly of me. I almost posted it too but instantly hated myself. Which is worse than the former hating on others, so I pulled my thoughts together and made this word-diarrhoea here.
We have a lot of problems, and people cluttering our fb with selfies is a minor one. And certainly this trend has reaped many more benefits than issues but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address them.
This trend like so many others is playing on people’s need to be “liked” or approved of. What happens when you’ve done your bit and the hype dies down? It’s not like cancer goes away. But I understand how it’s hard not to get carried away with everyone else. All charity is self-serving upto a point but I don’t believe it should be something so blatant it becomes insensitive.
There is so much more I could say like the fact that people are texting “bear” instead of “beat” and accidentally trying to adopt polar bears. FUNNEH. But Nah. There are plenty of others who have made the same points as me and I’ve exhausted myself with all these THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.