My Facebook news feed has been filled with two things in the past 24 hours. 1) a whole load of selfies of girls baring their natural faces to raise awareness of cancer and 2) a whole load of ranting statuses about how posting a picture won’t actually make that much of a difference. Personally, I fall somewhere in between the two camps.
On one side, I completely support any effort to raise awareness of charities and utilising the power of social media to encourage people to donate money to a particular cause is a really effective way of doing so. A well constructed campaign can spread like wildfire and it is a good chance for people to have a bit of fun and encourage others to get on board with supporting their chosen charity. Just because you aren’t giving the pounds out of your pocket doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing any good at all and awareness can often be beneficial to keep charities at the forefront of people’s minds.
The problem for me is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear link between the act of taking a picture of yourself with no make up and the cancer charity it is claiming to raise awareness of – or perhaps more accurately, if there is a link, many of the girls who are taking the pictures don’t seem to be making any reference to it. If you are going to jump on board with a trend like this, I think you should do it with a bit of sincerity, and really understand why that particular act has been chosen to raise awareness rather than blindly following a trend which unless carried out properly will have very minimal impact. Why not post your picture with a link for how to get more information about the charity, or a link to make a donation?
The danger of a campaign like this, is the amount of people that will jump on the bandwagon for the wrong reason. Too many pictures I have seen are taken with questionable slug looking ‘natural’ eyebrows, in very flattering light and taken from the best angle possible – which makes me think they are thinking a bit too much about achieving compliments on how good they look ‘au natural’, rather than their main goal being to raise awareness for a charity. Regardless of whether or not your picture is captioned with ‘raising cancer awareness’ this for me seems to lose sight of the motivation behind the trend.
Cancer isn’t a beautiful disease, it’s ugly and it’s heartbreaking, so rather than using your charitable act to show how pretty you can look without make up, perhaps it would be more fitting to post a picture which isn’t necessarily your most ‘beautiful’ angle. I’m all for doing something to show your support for a charity but doing it in a way that shows you have really thought about why that act is poignant to the charity you are doing it for is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Show yourself looking tired, on a really bad hair day or with that big old spot in the middle of your forehead, that way there can be a deeper message to your post to show that you aren’t afraid of things not being perfect in the fight against Cancer.
What do you think of the craze?
If this blog post or the trend itself has inspired you to donate log on to the Cancer Research website here, or text BEAT to 70007 to donate £3.