Some of you (and by some I mean anybody that has had access to a Facebook account for the last 24 hours) would have found selfies of fresh-faced ladies scattered across (or clogging up) your news feed. ‘What’s so different about that?’ you may ask. Appart from their apparent lack of make-up, each selfie also consists of a list of ‘nominations’, a plug for cancer awareness, and an apparent claim to support the fight against the world’s most prominent illness. But something’s not quite right…
That’s right, things are about to get a whole lot controversial on here!
So, what’s so wrong with a bunch of beautiful women bearing all in the name of supporting the fight against cancer? Nothing. Share those natural faces more often, I say! It’s a sad reality that women feel the need to hide behind a cause to reveal themselves as they truly are, and – perhaps – this is one way to combat low esteem in body image. Yet, the sadder reality is that ‘nothing‘ is exactly the result of the girls’ efforts and attempts. There are very rarely links to fundraising, or hospice support, or evidence that the participants are involved in any form of literal support. There is only an image on a scrolling newsfeed that will disappear quickly into the non-viewed realms of the internet. And it’s a shame.
As for the awareness side of things, I think we’re all more than aware of cancer itself, which – it appears to me – is the only form of ‘awareness’ I’m finding on my newsfeed. It’s a somewhat shallow viewpoint. What we aren’t aware of are the different charities that aid sufferers in a variety of different ways. We aren’t aware of the different forms of cancer. Many aren’t aware of how drastically it can effect someone’s life, or those around them. And we most certainly aren’t aware of how this ‘selfie support’ is meant to transpire into literal aid.
Whilst I respect that people feel the need to show their support, why not show support by contributing to the battle so many are fighting? Go ahead and take no-make up selfies, nominate a bunch of friends to do it too, but throw in a donation to any established cancer research or hospices! Make it worth the post. Take it a step further and get people to sponsor you in a week or month of no make-up – in a modern world seduced by body image, this might be a challenge for you, but supporting the cause should always be a challenge in respect to the sufferers. The idea of ‘no make-up selfies’ could go a long way if it’s real fundraising or support potential is uncovered. Not only is it great in defying the media’s perspective on beauty but a great form of approachable fund-raising that anyone can be a part of! Or do something REALLY crazy! Long hair? Chop it off to help children going through cancer treatment feel happier in themselves (www.littleprincesses.org.uk). Like sports? Join in on your local Race for Life! Or if you’re really crazy, why not jump out a plane for charity?
It’s great to see so many people publically displaying their support in one of the biggest (and longest) wars humans have ever begun. But, let’s be honest, it’s going to take a lot more than words and digital code; the ease of just saying the word ‘support’ and hoping for a better outcome undermines the struggle of sufferers and efforts people are going to in order to really support the fight.
Are you a ‘selfie for support’ taker? Did you donate? What are your thoughts on the ‘internet craze’? Leave your comments below!