A Very Sweary Response

Isn’t everyone sick of me blogging about the no make-up selfie trend? Well, I’m not sick of it. In fact, I seemingly get daily reminders as to why I need to keep blogging about it. Last week there was an article written (by a woman….for shame) saying “put your face back on”. Then just today I saw an article on Facebook asking if it’s “narcissistic” of women to be posting pictures of themselves online. Well, let me tell you, if you could see me right now, you’d be afraid. I’m shaking. I’m so angry. Yes, I’m also incredibly emotional when people challenge my values and belief system, but that’s besides the point. The point here is that we are so clearly stating the inequalities that exist between women and men, it’s literally right there, smacking us in the face.

Narcissistic? Are you FUCKING kidding me? What the hell kind of double standard bullshit is this? Let’s get this straight. Every year, in November, men grow hideous, god-awful moustaches because they are participating in Movember. Yes, the month has been coined Movember because the movement is so large. Throughout this month it is expected that said men will fundraise for prostate cancer**. Do all men who grow moustaches raise any money? No. Do they all post pictures of their duster progress on social media? You better believe it! In Movember, my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are riddled with everything from the, “are you the Monopoly man?”, to those really sparse, “I think you have dirt on your face” sprouts, to the, “seriously, get rid of that, I can’t even see your mouth” moustaches. Unfortunately, most men I know don’t raise jack shit for the cause either. But does anyone say anything about this movement? Does anyone get criticized for their participation? Or do more and more men toss that BIC in the garbage, sit back and make inappropriate moustache ride comments for an entire month? I believe it’s the latter. And for the record, no, no one wants to put their vagina anywhere near that garbage collector you’ve grown on your upper lip.

Now the ladies have their spotlight. But as woman are posting pictures of themselves sans make-up, they are not being celebrated for their efforts, or barely even encouraged by the media. Instead, there is article after article calling women out for not participating in the original intended cause. It was started by a cosmetics company to create fundraising for a cancer campaign. But as it moved its way through social media, it lost some of its intention and slowly became more of a movement about feminism, body-image, and self-esteem. Do you know how many posts I saw of women where they would caption the picture with something like, “I didn’t want to do this, but I will because I was nominated by another brave woman who loves me”. Yeah, we’re talking about bravery and shit! You may think that posting a picture of your face without make-up on is anything but brave, but we live in a society that equates your worth to your looks with a specific focus on make-up, in that most of it is marketed in a way (and completely surrounds us) that makes us feel it is the only real way to actually attain that beauty standard.

So now, we’re narcissistic? Now, as a society, we are labelling women narcissistic for posting pictures of themselves without make-up on? We just can’t win. I can’t even believe the incredible double standard that is taking place. Both campaigns raise money for cancer, both feature taking pictures of your face and showing off what you have, both have participants who do and don’t actually donate to the charity. But one is held up on an honourable pedestal while the other is treated like a sack of shit?

This is why it’s so important for this movement to be about more than just charity and fundraising. This is exactly why we women need to start standing up for ourselves more and reject the norms that are created for us not by us.

** does cancer deserve a capital C? I originally had cancer all capitalized, but I felt that it was giving the word too much power. Everyone hates cancer so I figured I’d cut it down a few pegs by replacing it with a lower-case c and in my world, that’s like me giving cancer the finger.

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