No make up selfies: brilliant!



bigstock-pink-breast-cancer-ribbon-isol-32805845A few short months ago the phenomenon of naked or make up free selfies hit our facebook screens.

Initially I watched friend after friend hesitantly, tag each other encouraging women to post a makeup and filter free photo on their feeds to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness.

From near royalty to stars, musicians, models and singers, all posted no make up selfies and a new cultural phenomena was born.

A marketing strategy that went viral, with the purpose of posting and then donating to Breast Cancer research.

It didn’t take long for the haters to climb out of their castles in the sky, to hide behind their computers and bring out the vitriolic speeches.

Facebook status updates of why woman are posting without donating, judgmental comments about how this will never make a difference, pulling each other down one comment at a time.

Then the parodies came in abundance with men posting naked with socks, husband and wives posting together and young people posting how ridiculous the whole craze was.

I did not post a selfie, supporting breast cancer, as I wasn’t tagged, but I watched many of my friends participate with interest.

Especially because two of my childhood friends who I went to school with from year 1 to 12 have had breast cancer, bravely fighting and overcoming the journey with courage. Two friends I worked with for years had  mastectomies and my Mum has always kept an eye on crazy happenings in her chest region.

I think the movement was brilliant.

Why?

(here is my hair unbrushed and makeup free selfie nearly 9 months pregnant!)

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Two reasons;

Firstly…

Anything that encourages women to get real, to take off the layers and live vulnerable lives online is absolutely necessary in my opinion.

There is way too much competition, comparison and pressure for women to be perfect, to be modeled, to be air brushed, to be filtered, to be super mums, who bake, work out, hold a career, run a blog and more and more and more.

This campaign quickly reinforced to popular culture and women specifically how over edited and over filtered our online lives have become. This campaign brought our everyday reality to our online fantasies.

Secondly…

Every post that went up, whether it raised money for breast cancer research or not, reminded woman across the globe to check themselves for any lumps.

The greatest problem for Breast Cancer awareness is not money. It is a lack of awareness or actually indifference. Every woman, who remembered to get a Mammogram, to feel for lumps in the shower, who put a reminder in their diary to see a doctor, is one step closer to eradicating this disease.

As much as we all like to think raising money is important, there is enough money available for any cause if you have the capacity to innovate for it. What our world has too much of is complacency and comparison.

We are complacent about our health and we are constantly comparing ourselves to one another.

These are the reasons that I wholeheartedly believe the selfie campaign was brilliant and successful. Even months later as I write about it, you know exactly what I am on about.

Next time you jump on a band wagon and hate on people who are trying to have a go and do something of worth, maybe you need to sit back and reflect on truly what is important in the communication of what is happening in popular culture.

Our opinion and cynicism is not always well founded and helpful.

I found this quote on Pinterest the other day.

‘Maturity is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.’

Competition is rife in womanhood.

I am hoping we can lay down our verbal guns and fight for things of worth, like young women who are sold into prostitution, child brides, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, eating disorders, self harm and bullying.

What if we all used our voice to defeat and defend this, rather than the ones who are trying to make a difference?

She is not your competition.

Amanda Viviers

(join me at Capture Life where I write daily)


About Amanda

Amanda Viviers Is an Author, Speaker, Creative Consultant and Novice Mum. Author of three books and she can be found most days at her shack close to the beach writing her fourth. She writes daily at www.amandaviviers.com and has worked in professional musical theatre. She worked on staff at Riverview for 12 years, mostly in the field of Creative Arts. Finalist in the Telstra Young Business Woman of the year and Community Services Award. She has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Literature and studied Musical Theatre at WAPPA. She is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia and is the co-founder of kinwomen; a network created especially for women. Recent Winner of ‘2013 CMA Best Digital Media Project Award’ for her blog Capture life. She is passionate about social justice and in the past has loved supporting children in the slums of Thailand and Indonesia. Wife of Charl and Mum of Maximus and Liberty. She lives a creative life, longing to see people lived inspired.