If you’re anything like me, my newsfeed this past week or two has been flooded with images of my beautiful female friends and family, all without make-up.
To get you visually in on the act, here’s my ‘unofficial no makeup selfie’ just hours after surgery, where I’m definitely make up free and even completely naked, other than my sticky tape chest and disposable hospital undies.
Initially I had no idea what was going on with the ‘no makeup selfie’ craze, so I just sat back and watched it all unfold. I saw some gorgeous photo’s, predominately of women and girls, primarily supporting breast cancer awareness. Then I started to read articles both supporting and criticising the campaign.
The supporters were the ones sharing the images, commenting on them, providing those who braved the ‘make up free look’ publicly with more confidence once they’d posted the image. Some friends tagged their mates, challenging them to do the same on their own feed. I must admit, it’s been a nice change from the ‘promoted posts’ I often see as I scroll through.
The critics were asking why? What’s the point? What’s the big deal about having no make up on? Apparently some even say that it’s a sly way of women to put one another down. Seriously? Are we really that cruel in society that we feel the need to criticise others when they’re stepping out of their comfort zone?
Let’s just get one thing straight! There’s a myriad of ways to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, in fact, there’s a myriad of ways to raise awareness and funds for ANY charity. Some ride their bikes, others compete in sporting events, some swim, some sell stuff on eBay, people shave their heads, some grow a mo, children sell chocolates, brownies, cakes, muffins, raffle tickets and crafts.
My question is…..Why do we feel the need to hack each other down when something new pops up in the media?
I consider myself a very open person, I love seeing new trends emerge and I’m typically supportive of anything, providing it’s not illegal. If I have an opinion, it’s usually not on the negative side as I think that we’re all different and we should be accepting of diversity.
It really irks me that people are so judgemental and cruel. One example is the Ricki-Lee selfie. I don’t really ‘like’ nor ‘dislike’ Ricki-Lee, I don’t really know her songs, so I’m not a ‘fan’ screaming support for her. In fact, when I looked into this further, it was only when I ‘Googled’ her name that I realised it wasn’t spelt ‘Ricky-Lee’.
What I am though is another woman who is embarrassed by the backlash she has received from others for the way her picture looks.
For those of you who haven’t come across it, here’s the image she posted on her Instagram feed:
Her image was posted with the text “Love getting home & wiping off my make up!!! Ready for some serious couch time! #HappyFriday xxxx”
The backlash came from comments like these…..
“The kind of creep who would bang an anorexic freak like this would just as easily bang her little brother. This ain’t a woman, it’s a little boy. And that boyfriend of hers is a closet pedophile.”
“You’re in the wrong frame of mind if you think you look healthy,”
I seriously had to read these comment a few times before I could even believe them. Do people really bully one another for a simple photo posted online? Geez!!!
Thankfully I was able to escape the cruelty after reading this comment from one of Ricki-Lee’s supporters….
“I am a size 14 and have collar bones that stick out quite dramatically. Yeh, if I took a photo up close like this one, I would look a little on the thin side… A full body shot, I would look overweight… Can anyone win? Leave her alone people. It’s pathetic!”
This woman is right!! We can’t win can we? Regardless of whether we post ‘no make up selfies’, or images all dolled up and looking flawless, there’s always going to be haters out there.
Ricki-Lee proudly stood up for herself. Here’s what she said to the online bullies who felt the need to attempt to bring her down…..
I couldn’t have said it better myself and strangely found myself wanting to burst into song chanting ‘Go Ricki, Go Ricki, Go Ricki’. I was so happy she stuck up for herself, in such a positive way.
At the end of the day, the ‘no makeup selfie’ social media craze was created to not only raise awareness of cancer, but more importantly to raise funds towards research programs. Some critics argue that we don’t need to raise ‘awareness’, which I suppose for some is true. In our family, cancer awareness is extremely high, we’ve always discussed it openly and honestly from a very young age and it’s not something that has ever been hidden behind closed doors.
I came across this very detailed cancer awareness ribbon colours chart and thought it would help to share.
Others argue that sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ does nothing for those who have bravely fought and won, or sadly lost the battle against this terrible disease. I have even read some comments claiming that sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ mocks the imagery of cancer patients, with statements such as this….A ‘no makeup selfie’ can’t compare to the pain and suffering of those who have battled the disease?’
It’s a no win argument really and the reality is, regardless of the cause, regardless of the motivation behind it, there’s no real way to please everyone.
While I personally bare the scars, I have never had to fight cancer, so I’m in no position to comment about the comparison of sharing a ‘no makeup selfie’ and the visual impact fighting cancer has on sufferers. You might remember my quote….
I never proclaim to be brave when it comes to cancer. I have always approached it in more of a statistical way, which is why I didn’t jump on the bandwagon to post a ‘no makeup selfie’ during the initial stages of the campaign.
However, after giving it some thought, I have decided to post a ‘no makeup selfie’ of myself, but with a little difference. I am including not just by face, but the scars I bare from my recent prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and I’ve done this for two reasons…..
- It’s real!! It’s what I look like now without makeup
- To proudly show how accepting I am of my new ‘imperfect’ body
To assist with healing, I do still have Fixomull tape over the scars where my nipples once were, so it’s not completely ‘raw’, but other than that, it’s all me, no filters, no smoothing, no trickery with lighting, just a plain old first-thing-in-the-morning selfie in the bathroom.
I know I’ve shared ‘selfies’ of my chest on this page in the past, this blog has always been a very open and honest forum for me, but as I mentioned in my previous blog article, this time I’m actually going to share it on my personal Facebook page.
It’s risky yes, because there are rules around posting nude pictures on that particular social media platform, however with this image, I’d be pretty comfortable arguing that it’s not actually graphic in this form. It’s also risky because not only am I exposing myself to my friends and family, but I’m also potentially sharing this ‘no makeup selfie’ with business contacts, people I work with professionally, those that would not usually be ‘exposed’ (no pun intended) to my personal story. I’m also at risk of the ‘haters’ slaying me verbally online and perhaps like my friend Beth Whaanga from Under the Red Dress project, I’m at risk of losing ‘friends’.
Along with my image, I’ll be making a donation to The Mater Foundation, supporting much needed breast, ovarian and prostate cancer research. I support The Mater Foundation via my Smiling for Smiddy Challenge fundraiser. You can support and donate yourself directly here.
If you want ‘in’ on the ‘no makeup selfie’, just snap a photo of yourself without makeup on and post it socially. If it’s not your ‘thing’, then don’t do it – it’s as easy as that. Just don’t be a hater please!!!
If you decide to go ahead and participate by putting yourself out there for others to see you in your bare and natural glory, then please do remember to you jump online and make a small donation towards cancer research. I have purposely said this more than once because it’s not about awareness, it’s about raising funds to help researchers find a cure for this disease.
I’ll continue challenging my own friends and family via my own social and ‘offline’ networks to donate just $5, the cost of a takeaway coffee to help raise much needed funds. Funds that might one day prevent our children from having to make the decision as to whether they need to remove their own breasts to avoid a breast cancer diagnosis.
Wish me luck with the public sharing on my personal Facebook page, I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous.