I openly admit to being the kind of person who generally keeps their opinions to themselves. I am a listener and an observer, and enjoy hearing the views of others and drawing comparisons and conclusions against my own.
But today I feel compelled to speak my mind in response to the latest social media campaign to take over my Facebook feed. Last night, picture after picture popped up of friends and family wearing no make up. Cue #nomakeupselfie—a call to take a selfie slap free in a bid to raise breast cancer awareness.
Nominated by a fellow Facebooker, I took part myself.
My surprise this morning was due to the apparent offence this campaign has caused to some—thankfully not from the shock of seeing friends and family sans make up (you are all natural beauts by the way), but the perception that people have ‘missed the point’ by not including information about how to donate or even by not stating they have donated to the cause.
If and why people donate is a very personal thing driven by circumstance and often motivated by personal experience, as highlighted in our report Money for good UK. The perceived focus of raising awareness in this campaign (not initiated by Cancer Research themselves) is of course incredibly important and I don’t deny that, but others may have been inspired for other reasons too.
In an age where image and looks are valued so highly that 87% of 11-21 year olds think women are judged more by their looks than their ability, I for one think the campaign promotes the value and importance of self esteem. I don’t wear a lot of make up myself, but I know some for whom it would have taken courage to go without in public.
Dare I also suggest that giving compliments to friends and peers, and receiving them, is simply a nice thing to do and pays dividends in making people feel good about themselves?!
I’m all for raising money for an undisputable good cause (note over £1m has so far been raised), but let’s also celebrate how it challenges the perception of perfection. There’s value in that too.