Thursday, March 27, 2014


The kind of selfie I like...

This month has been the month of no-makeup selfies on twitter and facebook, helping to raise over 8,000,000 British pounds (roughly 13,000,000 dollars) for Cancer Research UK.  I’ve seen my stunning girlfriends show themselves barefaced,  scrubbed clean to send a message: beauty is not just skin deep.

At a glance, the cause is noble.  What could be more noble than funding cancer research?  In reality, the group it profits has benefitted from an idea-gone-viral and raised much more money for research than they ever imagined they would.  WHY?  Truth is, we like to post pictures of ourselves on facebook and twitter.  It's even better when we can say “This isn’t just for me, it’s for a good cause. 

Cancer Research UK is a well-organized, well-presented network that, by its own definition, is “A number of bodies that work together to ensure that we make the best use of the funds we receive and continue to carry out world-class research.”  They fund research positions and projects in many labs, universities, hospitals and institutions in the UK.  
Laura Lippman's #nomakeupselfie on twitter, March 5
Laura Lippman, a 55-year-old novelist, began the trend on March 5, sharing a scrub-faced pic of  herself to show  solidarity with  Kim Novak, who was beaten by the press and viewers after her  Oscars appearance at the beginning of the March.  Lippman challenged readers to share bare-faced photographs of themselves after reading an article the following day about Novak's "shocking" appearance at the Oscars.
"I looked at her photo and thought, 'Well, damned if you do, damned if you don't' … all I could think was, God love you, Kim Novak. We criticise women for aging. We criticize women for not aging. We criticize women's bodies. We criticise women for bad plastic surgery,"
Twitter lit up with empathy, and slapped a hashtag #cancerawareness on it, spurring many to donate to cancer research.  Because it was an easy paypal charity to contribute to, women dared one another to post a #nomakeupselfie with a 5L (five pound) contribution to Cancer Research UK. 

After noticing the trend, the charity that was benifitting sent out a tweet saying: “We’re loving your #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pics! The campaign isn’t ours but every £ helps #beatcancersooner.”

While we can get cynical and jaded and say that the selfies do nothing to spread cancer awareness, the truth is, every little bit helps.  We also see that our outward appearance, however shocking to us (Am I that old?  I look like my mother!  No Way!! Am I ever posting that…) is a vulnerable thing.  It is a very vulnerable, scary thing to have cancer.  Your outward beauty is drained and you have to rely on people’s kindness as they walk alongside of you and take care of you.

In truth, most women photo-shop, duck face and/or position the camera for the best angle to produce the best selfie. 
And it’s never the first selfie we post.... 
Today I post this with a dare. 

I dare you to not only post a selfie, but to find a Cancer charity you believe in and donate to them.  After some research and a good deal of word of mouth, I have chosen ICAN (International Cancer Advocacy Network) a Phoenix based charity that my sister-in-law, Shirley worked for and that I believe in.  Their website actually shows where contributions are used.  Check it out here.


And so, to jump on this bandwagon, here is my selfie, with a confession: This is scary for me to post.  

Cancer research is important.  SO is cancer awareness...  Eight million pounds?  That's nothing to sniff at. Shoot, it's what DeMarcus Ware makes in a year...(BUT that's a whole other blog.)