First off, can I just say a very happy birthday to a very special someone. She’s so special most people think we are the same. She is a part of me, one that I will always cherish forever but sadly, she is not me. She does however, look like me and sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I see her staring right at me. No, she is not my twin, I do not have a twin although, I kind of wish I did I mean, really what could be cooler than two of me? Well anyways it’s her birthday today and I just want to say, happy birthday, I wish I was you. But I am, am I not? Hahaha, it’s okay, I will stop my ramblings now, as that is not the aim of today’s post.
I will assume that everyone reading this post has access to the internet and possesses at least one or two online social profiles. “Err, of course you dimwit, how else will they be able to read the words you foolishly put out.” Hahaha, well excuse me, the little person in my head is right, sometimes, I get carried away and yes, I do talk to myself. Well, now that we have that cleared up, we can get on with today’s post. (Please, please keep reading, I promise not to talk to myself while typing again. Well, sort of.) Recently, there have been trends passed round the internet from country to country, continent to continent, social media to social media, you get the picture. Peers will perform a task and tag others to do the same and eventually the whole world does these tasks just because others did it as well. Why be a party pooper right? Right! I think the symbol “#” is now the most used symbol in the world. I always thought it was a useless symbol but, it seems it has fulfilled its dream although, I hardly think symbols dream. This should be an inspiration for you guys out there who have dreams. If the hash symbol can do it, so can you. You don’t necessarily have to be a tag. (See what I did there 😉 )
There are various nominations such as the neknom, jam-nomination and the most recent, no make-up selfie nomination. The neknomination is my personal favourite. For those who don’t know what the neknom is, I’ll elaborate –you see, the teenagers of the world got bored with their normal lives and decided that normal drinking from a shot glass or infamous “red cups” at parties or social functions was too mainstream. So, one dandy fellow woke up one day and decided that he/she would take drinking to a whole new level forgetting that sometimes, children take things to a whole new dimension. I mean, who wants to be ordinary right? We all like to feel like we are special. Thus, teens around the world took it upon themselves to properly carry out this challenge more than effectively. Videos of very inventive drinking methods were uploaded and I do have to say, I admire the innovative ideas put into these videos, they were very humorous. I remember this video I saw by one of the boys in my program at university. He starts off with Barcardi, Jack Daniel’s, Vodka, Red Bull, Beer and some other drink I do not recall. This boy mixes it all up in one beer glass and gulps it down. You’ve got to admire his spunk. Next, he takes 8 shots of vodka and chases it with the red bull. With help from his friend, He attaches a tube to a funnel, puts the other end of the tube in his mouth and swallows as his friend pours some more alcohol in the funnel. Now I’m sitting at my table hoping and praying that this guy does not choke to death. He doesn’t and I feel happy and mortified at the same time. I think to myself, surely this is the end? But no, that was just the beginning lads. Boy wonder strips down and is naked except for his boxers and socks. He also has a large sock in his hands as he goes out the door. His friends follow suit with two cans of beers. At this point, my mouth is wide open and kind of dry (no I wasn’t thirsty because of his body, his body was scrawny and skinny. I was just concerned for his well-being) because it dawned on me what was coming. He steps out. Now for those of you who don’t know, I live in Canada and fortunately enough, this tag started trending in the winter. Winter in Canada is like living in a fridge with no clothes on. Boy wonder strips off his boxers and puts on the large sock to cover his junk. He looks straight at the camera, birthday suite and all and starts running. I do not know who I feared for most, him or the guy behind the camera. In short, it was damn cold, -21C damn cold. I suppose his body adjusted to the cold, conserving heat and hopefully, helped by the fact that he was running, burning energy. He came to a stop in front of the door, looked straight at the camera, gulped the two cans of beer and nominated his friends to outdo his performance. I seriously doubt anyone could outdo that performance. The Neknomination was as stupid as it sounded. Thank God he didn’t get a frost bite. I did however feel sorry for his stomach and his head –he was going to have a killer hangover in the morning.
Yet again, I have taken up most of your time and I haven’t even written what I wanted to yet. If you stop reading now, I won’t blame you but, please, please, please keep going.
Cancer, a monstrous weed that sprouts, squeezing and sucking the life out of whomever it invades. Making them go through pain that Jesus died for so we wouldn’t have to face. Cancer; I have lost people dear to me to it its clutches. I was nominated by a friend to do the #nomakeup selfie on Facebook. Now this tag is done in hopes of creating awareness for cancer alongside creating a platform through which people would be affected and compelled to donate to helping underprivileged people battle this monster. When I first found out about this tag I thought, “How does taking a picture with no make-up on have to do with cancer?” I do believe the initiator of this tag, God-bless his/her soul had good intentions when he/she came up with the idea –cancer patients look vulnerable and natural because of chemo, and to make them feel normal, included. We could get people to take off their masks, pose with a naked face for a selfie. (Selfie, also a word I think is useless but probably the most used word today. Again I say, don’t give up on your dream. If #selfie could do it, so can you!)
A lot of people are afraid to step out of their houses without make-up on and thus, this trend will make them appear as vulnerable as a cancer patient. Well, almost because, you cannot fathom what the cancer patient goes through. I do love that women all around including women with great influence (celebrities) bother to even post up pictures with make-up off. It just shows the girls that emulate them that, “beauty is not a thing you can acquire or consume it is something you just have to be.” (Lupita Nyong’o).
I will not be posting a no make-up selfie of myself because: a). Some people have corrupted the message and now, it is self-gratifying and b) the beautiful natural looking faces of people say nothing about cancer. At least not how I remember it on the face of my friend’s mom or uncle. My friend’s mom had breast cancer and my uncle well, they never really knew what kind. It was somewhere between leukemia and lung cancer. I didn’t really see much of my aunt (I call my friend’s mum my aunt because I had known her for so long) during her treatment. I just knew that she was really sick because she looked really skinny and stressed out whenever she came to see her son and me in boarding school. I knew she was always going to India but I thought it was for business, not chemo sessions. I didn’t even know she had cancer until she died a little over a year ago. Her face did not look energetic and full of life when I saw her. Her face wasn’t flushed and she didn’t smile (although she tried to). So, no I do not think going without make-up say nothing to me about cancer but, I am not against it.
My uncle’s, I experienced first-hand. Now of course, he is a man well, was a man and did not use make-up but that is not the reason why I will not partake. He had the best heart and I watched him suffer. I watched him groan in pain even when doctors said he was 70% saved. I watched him relapse. I was not allowed to go see him at the hospital but I did see him when he came over. I’m sorry but, a make-up free face does not represent fully how he or my friend’s mom or any cancer patient for that matter looked. Plain, naked eyes of a make-up free face does not measure to the pain and lifelessness in the eyes of a cancer patient.
A lot of people don’t believe it but they are beautiful with or with-out make-up on. That is why I think some, not all do it. Now you might not agree with me but indulge me. Say you are a girl and you post a picture: #nomakeupselfie bringing awareness for cancer. Go on, do it, it’s for a good cause. Someone makes a comment, “omg so pretty.” You cannot tell me will not feel a tad bit pleased, happy even. We all like it when we are looked upon as beautiful. So who benefits more from the selfie? You who has just been confirmed as beautiful with a naked face, happy and content or the cancer patient? It is for a good cause.
That picture you posted is the real you, validated and beautiful. That is not cancer, cancer is ugly. It destroys, it torments. No make-up on will not, destroy you. No make-up on will not, torment you.
“I posted a picture of my face, bare. I was compelled to donate. No I did not post it for the likes or comments, I posted it for a good cause. I did a good deed, you should too.” You defend yourself, just letting people know that you actually did it for the millions of kids dying. Why did you really do it? Self-gratification, self -validation. When a boy sees you without makeup he thinks, damn maybe she’s not as superficial. Maybe her Instagram pictures aren’t just filters and edits. Maybe, we can trust these hoes after all. Bravery, that’s what it is seen as. You are brave for putting up a picture with no make-up on. You are brave for being vulnerable, brave for putting yourself out there. “You see, I am a good person.” Who are you trying to convince yourself or the other people who will see this and think, she put up a picture of herself with no make-up on. She’s brave, she deserves validation. She deserves likes. #nomakeselfie, #cancerawareness , #Iamagoodperson. As Daisy Buchanan puts it: “It’s weird that we fetishise the bare-faced woman. We think we’re being terribly right on, modern and progressive when we praise natural beauty. ‘Oh, I can’t bear women who wear too much slap. It’s so sad that girls can’t love themselves the way they are,’ is a refrain of the seemingly well meaning, manipulative man. It’s stealth slut-shaming.”
Of course, this trend has urged people to donate and has raised a lot of money for the respectable charity going into treatments and research. This foundation, the Cancer Research Uk has received over $3.3 million in donations and I am grateful that people donate. I however, am still not buying it and will not get involved. You do not need an AWARENESS for cancer. People already are aware of cancer. It shouts its presence. I am not saying all the women who post a no make-up selfie are vain. I am just saying some more than others. I am sorry but I will not take a picture of my make-up free face to raise awareness of something people already know about. It is not because I am ugly or scared or think I cannot do without make-up, it is because I walk to school everyday without make-up, all my friends have seen me without make-up. I have nothing to hide. I will not #nomakeupselfie because I am healthy and happy and not likely to die. I will not mock something that destroys.
I cannot continue writing because I cannot see through my tears at this point. I do hope you all have a wonderful day as for me; I’m off to the library to spend what’s remaining of my birthday. Thank you for reading.
P.S to donate £3 to Cancer Research UK, text BEAT to 70099. I did, I hope you do too. Help change a life.