Sunday, March 30, 2014

Don't Tell me I'm not Raising Awareness

Have you posted your bare face yet? For a few days, it seems like everyone was doing it. But alas, within a few more days, multiple people are posting rebuttals about the validity of the campaign. Yes, it doesn't save anyone who currently has cancer. It doesn't directly raise money to fund research. After reading some of the argument I can see how it can offend survivors. If you are making that point, you are completely 100% correct. You know what, though? I'm a little annoyed.

My bare face selfie, captioned with "Get your Cancer Screenings"

I'll admit I hesitated before posting the selfie of myself. Not because I was nervous about people seeing me without makeup but because I questioned the validity too.  Does this really do anything to raise awareness? Who does this help? Is it really just about puffing out your chest with a claim "I helped fighting cancer!"? Is this actually brave....(I don't even wear makeup most days)?  I did it anyway.

Before you dawn on your judicial robes, hear me out. I'm fully aware of what it doesn't do. My husband's side of the family has had several bouts with cancer: Leukemia,
thyroid, and breast. I have an extreme amount of empathy for cancer patients. I am not claiming that I know what they've gone through--by any means. However, here is why I posted my bare face.

1. Future Cancer Patients:  Breast Cancer is still taking the lives of about 40,000 women a year . That's just women (yes, men can get it too), and just in a year! Getting regular screening tests (along with treatment if diagnosed) lowers the risk of dying from breast cancer.  The best way we can encourage people to go to regular screenings, is simply talking about it. You can't tell me that people haven't been talking about it the past few days.

2. Funding Research: Ok, I'll give you that posting a selfie doesn't directly donate anything to research. In the mists of talk though, people are making points.... "If you really want to help, donate".... "This doesn't do anything to help research." ....and others are responding. Did you know that it actually started specifically to raise money in the UK? Boy, did it ever! It may have got lost in the shuffle, but it still raised money!

3. Current Cancer Patients: As much as I dislike the controversy itself, the response about the validity brings up an excellent opportunity to connect with our survivors. I'm not saying offending them is a good thing-- but there is no possible way we can understand every aspect of how they feel, what they've gone through. I can't imagine the depth of emotion and stress. But regardless, survivors are standing up, and giving us a glimpse into the ugliness of the experience. -- so let me just say-- let's come back to the best of intentions. This wasn't meant to be a slap in the face, our intention was to do something small to help-- and shouldn't that at least be appreciated?

One of the many times I've donated hair.

For those who have stood up and expressed their feelings on why no-makeup faces isn't a good idea.-- I hear you, and I cheer you on! It is so important to converse, it's the best way to understand each other. I don't feel what I did was brave. You are the brave ones. I just wanted to clear up our intentions. We love you. We're tying our best to support you. Now let's get out there and make a real difference.

All my love and respect,