Thursday, April 3, 2014

I posted something on Facebook last weekend that I wouldn’t normally post – a debatable opinion. Shortly after, I decided to remove it as I remembered I liked my Facebook being limited to friends and memories. It was hard to say what I was thinking and feeling in a couple short sentences and I also did not want to offend anyone. However after I deleted it, the subject was still on my mind and I wanted to talk, rant, debate, not quite sure which about it! Well what better place than my first blog post.

The no makeup selfie became a viral fad recently and I am not a huge fan. My various reasons and thoughts towards this result from my different viewpoints on it – as a marketing professional, as a woman, and as the individual person I am. So bear with me, these thoughts may be all over the place and tangents may occur.

Although a blog post, I wanted to try to back up my statements with some “research”, which is just other peoples’ opinions on the same topic, so take it as you may. In one article, it is said that the no makeup selfie started after the Oscars, then celebrities were posting them for different causes, then the no makeup selfie for Breast Cancer started in the UK and spread to North America. It grew in popularity due to people’s involvement (duh, the very definition of viral fad). But that – peoples’ involvement – is what I want to talk about. Why get involved?

1. To support Breast Cancer

I think my feelings towards this involvement mostly come from working in the marketing industry. The possibilities are endless when it comes to marketing, so much creativity, so many different angles and avenues. Just because certain actions were successful at raising money, does not mean that that same outcome or a greater outcome could not have been achieved using a different approach. What does a no makeup selfie have to do with Breast Cancer? It supports women going through treatment? To disagree with that I will refer to this article, which says these no makeup selfies are insulting to those women going through treatment. 

So were you participating to raise awareness and/or make a donation? The point of my asking is not to make people feel bad, but rather ask them to question their actions. Yes, it’s all for fun but people complain that things are losing meaning, value, tradition and we are becoming increasingly desensitized to devalued behaviour. Well then let’s not jump on the bandwagon when meaningless fads come along. The more we feed into these fads, the more they become the everyday life we live. Let’s spread awareness in other ways or make a donation without posting a no makeup selfie. We control an action becoming a viral fad.

Lastly, the reason why I care that this was the vehicle for raising awareness, is that it is Breast Cancer. An organization/cause that has worked hard to grow with respect, dignity, and gracefulness, and I think they deserve a movement with more class. 

2. To show the beauty of women 
A friend who commented on my post before it was removed compared the no makeup selfie to Movember, where men grow mustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer – it’s just a fun way to get involved and raise awareness. Excellent, yes ladies let’s have some fun and raise awareness! Except… I can think of a bajillion things more fun. What makes a no makeup selfie different than a selfie and what does that imply? What [do I think] the no makeup selfie is really saying? That women are STILL trying to prove their beauty and even more disheartening, we are asking for people to validate that through “likes”. EVERYONE is beautiful. Maybe if we, women, stop asking for acceptance and just start being, then maybe people will stop thinking about it so much. Come on ladies, can we really not be more creative than the no makeup selfie? Men get to grow ridiculous moustaches, maybe making themselves look a little less appealing than their regular attractive selves, and we all have a good laugh about it. But women are still out to prove their beauty? Lame.

3. To follow the fad
Well the fad involves selfies and I am not a huge fan of those to begin with, so I will just leave this one at that. Don’t waste your time.

I thought this was an interesting topic because I caught myself thinking of different marketing campaigns and ways to get involved. Which in turn made me think it would be kinda cool to post here because one thing I love about my job is not only helping people tell their stories, but telling them in a genuine way that I believe in and is true to my character. I always feel comfortable that I can share my ideas with both my team and my clients and have never felt pressured to work in a way I feel is unethical. Oh the possibilities when thinking of marketing Breast Cancer Awareness – how could I not be frustrated with this year’s trend?

There you have it, just a little babble on this topic. Let me know what you think! 

Each one of us contributes to the world we live in. Let’s demand more substance, beauty, and creativity. Good Times.