This week I was 'tagged' by a friend who had posted her make-up free face online to raise awareness for Cancer Research. I (perhaps like many others?) wondered how a selfie could raise awareness for cancer so if only for the sake of curiosity, I gave it a go to find out.
I wear make-up pretty much everyday. To work, to socialise and to do the Friday big shop. I wear it because I prefer to look at my make-up covered face than my non make-up covered face, and I assume that the great British people do too. Don't be mislead, I don't have shares in MAC, and I'm more of a slap dash applier than one who actually knows anything about the art of applying makeup properly, but still that fine layer of foundation makes me feel better.
Why? You might ask. Why does the obscuring of my natural face make me feel better? Surely that's an absurd concept? The answer. I don't *really* know. All I know is that when I can no longer see that pimple or those bags under my eyes I have a new found self-confidence. I feel fresh and well presented, ready to take on the day.
At this point you're ready to diagnose me with low self-esteem and little self-belief, but those of you who know me better, know that isn't true. There are some beautiful ladies that I know who personify self-belief - but they still wear makeup.
Perhaps some girls who wear make up wear it simply as part of their outfit? And so choosing the colour of their lipstick is just like choosing the colour of their knickers for the day. (And no one is even going to see those!) Perhaps we wear makeup like it's an accessory, simply because we like it?
I think I put myself in this category, and so for me, taking and posting a #nomakeupselfie wasn't a massively big deal. After all I was (hopefully) raising awareness of Cancer.
The flipside. Makeup for some people is like a mask. To hide away what they are ashamed of, scared of or what they just don't like. If you look in the mirror and hate what you see, a million people telling you otherwise is not going to change that. If wearing makeup is the difference between you going out and being the best you can be that day or staying home too worried to leave the house... I say get that slap on and get out there! Who are we to judge?
For these people going out without makeup really is a massively big deal, so If this is how you feel and you have 'bared all' this week in support of this great cause, I salute you.
With that in mind, maybe each time a bare faced selfie is posted, there is another message we are sharing without realising it. Beauty is NOT skin deep. You are loved for the person you are, not the way you look, and I have no doubt that there will be someone out there who would love to look like you. Remember that. And if your selfie has encouraged someone else to whip out the makeup remover or prompted a few nice comments - well then that's just an added bonus!
The critics. Does a bare face selfie have anything to do with cancer research? No it doesn't. Which is why some people out there think the craze is "narcissism masked as charity" and those people who partake are simply looking for compliments on their natural beauty to boost self esteem. Perhaps there is some truth in this? Perhaps some people have no intention of raising awareness and simply want to beat the number of 'likes' their photo can get? Or perhaps the critics are just that. Critics. For no other reason than that's what they do for a living, and no matter how much good the world does, they would still find something to tar it with.
When I saw millions of people posting their #nomakeuselfie with the message 'TEXT BEAT TO 70099 TO DONATE £3 TO CANCER RESEARCH' the curiosity I very first mentioned was quenched.
#nomakeupselfies whether you think they are a good thing or not, do exactly what they intended to do. They have not only raised awareness of cancer by getting people talking about it, sharing posts of how to check their breasts or testicles, and encouraging others to post a photo too... The #nomakeupselfie has has done more than that. It has raised over £2million pounds in 3 days for Cancer charities who work tirelessly to find a cure for this terifing disease that affects 1 in 3 of us and tears peoples lives apart.
How can you criticise that??
Please comment below x