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#yourenothelpinganyone: Are "#nomakeup" Selfie's Really Helping Raise Cancer Awareness?

For those troubled souls who still do not engage with any social media, I will attempt to provide context on my confusing and/or unreadable title.

For those troubled souls who still do not engage with any social media, I will attempt to provide context on my confusing and/or unreadable title.

"#nomakeup" has existed almost since the birth of the universe's most successful confidence booster: Instagram. Through the breathtaking, omnipotent power of HD smartphone cameras and artistic retro-simulating digital filters, anyone having a rainy day in the self-esteem department can almost instantly transform their appearance and share it with the world, leading to an overwhelming onslaught of acceptance, validation and self-worth through mass complementary commentary.

However, as the name of the tag implies, the person in question willingly chooses to upload a photo onto their social media without make up or any other physical enhancement, thereby seemingly rejecting all forms of narcissism in order to appear genuine, modest and humble.

Several people on the internet have now "reclaimed" this once reprehensible tag, and are now using it to support Cancer awareness, under the sentiment that it not only promotes acceptance and support for those with physical ailments due to Cancer treatment, but a sense of community for all those affected whilst helping drive the current campaign on Cancer awareness.

This, of course was met with enraged and venomous denouncement (as I witnessed whilst logging on to casually ignore some event notifications). Even more so now for the apparent influence of the highly dangerous and completely ridiculous Neknominate (by tagging and encouraging others to take part), which has tragically led to death of several young people, in the UK and worldwide.

Queue internet bandwagon hate, as malicious anonymous and not-so-anoymous trolls bitterly plaster hypocritical hashtags such as "#yourenothelpinganyone", "#stillugly" and "#betterlucknexttime" all over peoples comments to spark a reaction. Although this is extreme, many people clearly share the same sarcastic notions, with comments like "Surely you should take a screenshot of your donation, if you bothered" to paraphrase a few.

Honestly, whilst I would never personally attack anyone on social media for their choices, I understand the root of the cynicism. I'm sure many of us can relate to hovering over several of these questionable "#nomakeup" photos and thinking judgementally in our minds "Are they sincere at all, or is this another shameless "#tagsforlikes" attention ploy?"

However, despite the motives of a conceited minority, my personal opinion is that it has truly benefited the cause, and many of the people taking it upon themselves to join in are sincere. Regardless of what the haters say, I strongly believe that it does take a great amount of courage in today's body-conscious and media-displays-perfection society for people to display themselves bare-faced to the world, knowing that they risk exposing themselves to severe unsolicited and mindless criticism. I know many people who would never dare to do it. But most importantly, what this has undoubtedly done is sparked discussion. Whether you are vilifying people for being fake and attention seeking, or supporting and campaigning for others to join in, more people are aware than they were last week, and so it has served it purpose.

The most important message we must communicate, is to do our best to donate and support the charities we claim to be. I understand that we may not all be in the best situation to donate financially, but if we can research, educate ourselves and spread the word, we can make a difference.

I certainly would not have donated myself, researched and written this blog if it wasn't for "#nomakeup".


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