Social Media is currently full of women taking pictures of themselves without make up to raise awareness for breast cancer, and there are a couple of things that are completely wrong about it.
To raise awareness or money for charities and/or causes, people usually take to drastic measures to be able to do so. Otherwise, there would be no motivation for individuals to give away money other than for pure generosity (which in this day and age could be scarce). To think that taking pictures of oneself without any make up is something on par with doing something drastic to raise awareness is somewhat degrading. It gives the suggestion that women only look presentable with make up, and that to take it off would be rather daring, enough so for people to take a second look. To think that this is the kind of society that we live in is embarrassing, to say the least.
Secondly, putting pictures of yourself on social media outlets doesn’t do anything to raise awareness. It just reminds us that breast cancer is out there, but it does not educate us further to then help us or to help others. It’s the same as reminding me that I have to pick up my dry cleaning. When you remind me, it’s in my mind. The next minute, it’s gone. To raise awareness, we should be posting about how to prevent breast cancer, or how we can actively help others, and ourselves, who already have it. We should be posting articles, links, and research about breast cancer to better understand it. Then we can become more aware. Looking at pictures of friends without make up does not teach us anything further about cancer.
Thirdly, this current craze of raising awareness is similar to the one a while back (perhaps still current in some places) of liking photos of people in need. All of these things on social media are very passive acts that doesn’t actively help people in need. It’s the same as throwing money at a problem (see my earlier post on how charity doesn’t always work). If you really want to help, and I mean REALLY want to do something and help, then volunteer yourself to do something actively. Volunteer your time or skills instead of just donating, posting pictures, or liking pictures of suffering people. There are plenty of people around you who need help with something.