Right now, wherever you are, raise your hand nice and high if you are NOT aware of cancer. No-one? Thought so.
So can we please stop the stupid Facebook games to "raise awareness of cancer"? For one, they are genuinely stupid. They tend to spread through women, so for the guys out there, here is what usually happens...
You get a mass PM. Followed by several further PMs from people in the group who didn't understand the game, or "I don't want to play publicly but mine is blue." (Stop. Just stop now. Don't do that). The original PM usually goes something like:
"LADIES! Let's play a game and raise awareness of cancer at the same time! This is ladies only so don't tell the guys! lol! All you have to do is post the colour of your bra (NOTHING ELSE, just the colour of your bra) as your Facebook status. If a woman asks what you are doing, clue her in by forwarding this message! If a man asks...DON'T TELL THEM!! Haha!"
Which leads to Facebook being full of:
Woman A: "BLUE!"
Guy A: "What?"
Guy B: "Blue what?"
Woman A: "I can't tell you....lolz!!"
Great job lady! You just raised awareness of BLUE. Excellent job. And where exactly does clogging my FB feed with colours and the ensuing debates raise awareness of cancer? Anyone? No-one? There you go then. Awareness-raising FAIL. The "Where do you put your handbag?" one is basically the same, but with places rather than colours.
The latest one is make-up free selfies. You know what? I complained bitterly about the make-up free selfies when they first appeared. I even took some criticism for it. But on the surface it did appear to be just another stupid FB idea, because no-one mentioned in public that they were also texting to donate at the same time (IF they were...The campaign certainly didn't start off that way until it was criticised for doing no good). Again, unless you were clued in, from the outside it tended to just turn FB into an endless stream of this (snippets from various posts on my timeline):
Woman A: [terribly-lit mobile phone quality selfie of woman with no make-up on, accompanied by blurb about tagging friends and "raising awareness of cancer". Bonus points for actually mentioning "cancer" in the status this time though *thumbs up*, MASSIVE minus points for mentioning nothing about also making a donation]
Friend A: "Twit-twoooooooo!"
Friend B: "Hawt"
Friend C: "You're so pretty!"
Woman A: "Noooooooooooooooooo! I look awful!"
Friend D: "Stop it babz, your gorgeous!"
Woman A: "No! stop lyin! I look sooooooooo rough!"
Friend E: "GAwwwww-jussss!"*
Friend F: "Pretteh gurl is prettehhhhhhh!"**
Woman A: "Stop it!! I look horrible!"
So I'm thinking "If you want to fish for compliments, just do it. Don't hide it as doing good and "raising awareness". Because you're not really raising any awareness there at all. You're fishing for compliments or feeling "brave" because your friends, who have seen you in a far worse state if they are really your friends, are seeing you with no make-up on." because no-one was also mentioning if they were donating. Then a couple of days of indignant screen-cap posts of donation texts after media criticism.
If you can't afford to text and donate, that's OK!! We've all been there. But PLEASE share a link to Cancer Research UK (CRUK), or Macmillan Cancer with your selfie. Share a poster of how to check yourself for breast or testicular cancer. Share the adverts on TV at the moment about prostate cancer. That will all help raise awareness and save lives, if that's what you really want to do. You might not get as many likes but you might save someone's life.
If you just want someone to tell you that you look pretty with no make-up on, just post a picture of yourself with no make-up on. Chances are people will tell you that anyway, because you probably ARE genuinely pretty without make-up on, you just never give yourself the chance to find out. (Natural light is your friend, don't take them in the bathroom).
From the looks of it the campaign is actually now raising money and sharing some useful self-checking posters too (and in some cases adopting polar bears...), so good on you if you took part properly.
*If you've ever spelled that word that way, slap yourself in the face for me. Thanks. Now NEVER do it again. It's not a hard word to spell properly. Post from your phone if you get stuck. Auto-correct is your friend.
*If you've ever used that ("[adjective] [noun] is [same adjective]") sentence structure, slap yourself super-hard in the face. It's idiotic and annoying.