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#NoMakeUpSelfies and the Bigger Picture

20 March 2014
Ok, serious face on for once.

If you, like every other person on this planet are a Facebook account holder, you will probably be aware of the viral trend filling up your timelines with #NoMakeUpSelfieForCancer. For those of you who aren't aware, I'll explain. On Tuesday night, a campaign begun whereby thousands of girls whipped out their makeup wipes and posted photos of themselves on Facebook, fresh faced and makeup free. The incentive began to raise awareness of Cancer Research UK but overnight the charity saw an influx of £1 million worth of donations, even though the campaign had not been set up by themselves. The concept is a simple one: take off your makeup, grab your nearest selfie-taker of preference, take said selfie, upload to Facebook, then text BEAT to 70007, donating £3 to Cancer Research UK.

Simple enough, but I must admit I was pretty skeptical at first. My timeline was inundated with

photos of all these girls tagged #NoMakeUpSelfieForCancer yet something was quite clear - they were anything but fresh faced and makeup free. And to me, that's where the bigger picture comes in. I'm more than aware that there are girls out there uploading said pictures for a bit of attention and by no means do they intend to donate to charity - let's not lie, we all know at least one. Fair enough, I'm not here to judge or hate but again, the bigger picture.

What struck me, was that all these girls were being praised simply for uploading a photograph of themselves naturally to a social media site as though it were a major achievement. And that's the worrying part. We live in a society today where a lack of makeup is almost a weakness; women are perceived to be objects of beauty and they must comply at all times. We live in a world that feeds off the latest celebrity trends and the way that people look - completely vain and selfish but accepted in

Now I am in no way a feminist but I've heard guys commenting on this new viral trend and it's nasty -
"all I can say is that makeup works wonders", "put it away, I don't need to be seeing that" amongst others but I'll leave that to your imagination. I don't know about you but I myself suffer from crippling self-confidence issues, I honestly hate so many aspects of myself and that's wrong. Living in a world where a good 90% of girls can't leave the house without applying makeup and hiding who they really are, even if they're just popping down to the shops, is really sad. Really, really sad. People could argue for days about the pressures of the media on girls and guys alike and the effects it can have, how we can stop it and blah blah blah but can we really pull our self absorbed, looks conscious society back and step and say "hold on a minute, look what's happening here"? I'm skeptical. But that's not my debate to have.

I praise all the girls who have gone bare faced and donated to charity but if feel like there's a bigger issue here; the world is praising these girls as though the removal of makeup is an achievement - it shouldn't be. We shouldn't be scared to go out bare faced "just in case I bump into someone I know" but we are, and I totally get that. But it's wrong and something needs to change. Whilst an excellent campaign, raising a phenomenal amount of money, will there really be any fresh, bare faced selfies hitting Facebook this weekend? Will we ever be able to ditch the makeup for those small trips that we might just bump into somebody? It's scary but it's thought provoking at the same time. I'll leave you with that thought.

Until next time!
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