Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Narcissists and The #NoMakeup Selfie

Narcissists_and_The_#NoMakeup_Selfie_on_Pinksith

Let's start with a definition:
Narcissism:
nar·cis·sism [nahr-suh-siz-em]
noun
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.

You may have noticed that your Twitter and Facebook feeds are cluttered with a slew of "selfies" with the hashtag #nomakeup. A large number of these selfies are being posted to raise cancer awareness. How a #nomakeup selfie actually raises cancer awareness is beyond me. What does raising awareness do for those afflicted with cancer or those that will get cancer in the future? Long story short, NOTHING. Cancer needs research and research costs money, so cancer charities are always trying to raise money for more research in order to find a cure. Posting a picture of your unmade up face will not necessarily bring donations into cancer charities. However the recent narcissistic practice of selfies is being justified (at least in the UK) by claiming to raise awareness for cancer and it did lead to a slight increase in donations to cancer charities. So "Yay" for that.

Narcissists_and_The_#NoMakeup_Selfie_on_Pinksith

However, there is a larger issue that is not being addressed. There are still a plethora of poorly lit, out of focus #nomakeup selfies being posted on the interwebz for no other reason than to say, "Look at me!" It's not surprising that narcissism levels are on the rise, and have been for years. The increases were noted before "social media" was even in the regular vernacular. However, narcissism has clearly skyrocketed since the advent of social media. At the same time, it seems that there has been a steep decline in kindness, charity and empathy levels since the advent of Facebook and Twitter. Even though we are more connected than ever, we are less interested in other people, unless those other people have opinions on us! "Enough about me, what do you think about me?" It's almost as if having electronic accessibility has made us all a little more antisocial.

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I believe the reason the #nomakeup selfie becoming a trend is not only so participants can believe that all of Instagram actually thinks that a blurry and poorly lit selfie is what one really looks like, but to also benefit from getting "likes" and comments on "how cute" they look, thereby reassuring those with fragile egos and those with narcissistic behavior that the practice of posting these types of pictures is acceptable. Let me allow you in on something...it's NOT acceptable.

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What irks me so much is that people applaud and remark how "brave" one is to post a picture with no makeup. That's not brave. Capturing a spider int he bathtub is brave. The whole #nomakeup selfie trend seems to imply that women are so dependent on their makeup that the very thought of photographing themselves not completely made up is some sort of super human or super altruistic thing. This is not only ridiculous, but it's insulting. Worse yet, some participants in the #nomakeup selfie craze have accused those that DON'T participate in this ridiculous mockery of bravery, of being vain. Vain? Because they chose to not take a self serving picture sans makeup? Pluheeze!

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The core of the issue here is shaming women for wearing makeup. I am here to say that there is NOTHING wrong with wearing makeup. Women wear makeup for many reasons. The majority of them wear makeup because they LIKE makeup! They like the way they look in makeup, they like the ritual of the application, they like the colors and the artistry. I'm not saying women, like myself, don't like the way we look without makeup and it's the only reason we wear the stuff. Not at all. That's like saying that women only wear clothes because they don't like the way they look without clothes....wait. Bad example. It's like saying men grow beards because they don't like the way the look without one...Men grow beards because THEY CAN. Women wear makeup because THEY CAN! It's just that simple.

Narcissists_and_The_#NoMakeup_Selfie_on_Pinksith

It's fine to post a #nomakeup selfie, but if you are going to do it, do it for real. Good lighting, in focus no filter. THEN let's see how many "brave" women there are. Stop lying to yourself and stop shaming your fellow females for wearing makeup.

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 Now if we can just stop taking so many selfies that would be a step in the right direction. Let's not focus so much on yourselves and start to focus more on our world and what's going on in it. If people dedicated half the time they do to taking, editing and posting selfies, and instead focused on local and world events maybe the world would be a batter place. Maybe we would care more for each other. Maybe words like "selfie" and hashtags like #nomakeup will become a passing fad and words like Altruism and #MakingADifference will fill our social media feeds instead. There is always hope!

21 comments:

  1. So wearing makeup =/= cancer awareness. I really dig the article. If you want to be 'aware' of a cause, educcate yourself do just be a lemming

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  2. The entire #nomakeup movement was disturbing enough within itself, but to compound it further by attaching it to cancer awareness? Sheer stupidity.

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  3. I couldn't agree more! Especially the point about wearing makeup simply because we like makeup. I like my bare face just fine, and am bare faced 75% of the time, but I love wearing makeup. I love the process of "dolling up" before going out. I have invested time and money in the pursuit of my collection and I love it all. Nothing irks me more than when someone tells me I shouldn't wear "all that stuff on my face" (direct quote) because I look better without it. I realize there is a compliment somewhere in that backhanded remark, but it really hacks me off.

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  4. #NoMakeup is supposed to be like being sponsored to do a walk/run for a fundraiser. They are missing the integral thing, a donation. The point of the selfie was to raise awareness while raising money to donate to cancer research foundations...

    Basically, they make a promise, "I'll wear no make-up for this many hours, will you sponsor me to do it the whole day?" So the sponsor donates something like $1/hour the no makeup 'runner' to cancer foundations.

    So all these selfies are just doing it wrong. It is like clicking a like on facebook to cure cancer. Click. Nothing happens. Awareness is more than people being 'aware' of an issue, especially one that everyone knows about, since cancer is still a leading cause of death, everyone is aware of it.

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  5. Ummm... it's raised £8 million for Cancer Research UK... so there's that. I haven't seen a selfie where someone hasn't also uploaded a screenshot of their text donation... so there's that.

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  6. I don't get it either. I think most of the girls and women (I say most, not all) posting these 'no make-up selfies' (indeed hurrah for filters and nude make-up, don't think we're not on to you!) are doing it for no one else but themselves. For their own ego. 'Look at how brave I am, no make-up!' How about instead of digging for compliments (because let's face it, that is what this is mostly about, whether it be compliments about how awesome they are for 'bringing awareness' or just about how fantastic they look make-up free) you actually DO something like raising money, finding sponsors, donating,...

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  7. Amen, sista. As if showing your face without makeup was an act of courage. #idiots

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  8. lol i love the zombie, spider and game of throne

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  9. OMG YES thank you! Yet one more reason why I am a fangrrl of yours ;) If I have even ONE person send me some stupid-assed *anything* for cancer awareness that actually does NOT have anything to do with awareness, I will verbally slap the eff out of them and then unfriend. Because I spent the month of September posting REAL things about pediatric cancer awareness. And I spent all of Feb/part of March raising money for pediatric cancer research.


    And yep, my new icons are me with no hair. Well almost no hair. (the lack of makeup was mostly because I knew I would be crying that day--which I did--out of joy and happiness--not a bit because I had all my hair shaved off). And THAT is for REAL awareness so when ppl ask me why I have no hair I can tell them all the facts about pediatric cancer and how horribly underfunded it is.


    But I cringe when I'm told how "brave" I am to shave my head. Brave is the little 2yo boy I'm praying for who is fighting stage 4 neuroblastoma, and his parents who are dealing with this every single day. Talia was brave. They are my heros. Me, it's just hair.


    Sorry for the soapbox. The amount of narcissism from a select few in "the beauty world" has me seething a bit. Sorry to rant on your rant.



    I'm so glad my 19yo daughter is not one of these twits. She's more concerned with mentoring youth, esp girls, in science (future neuroscientist!!)


    Ok really done now. :D

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  10. The one I just "love" is "post the status of the color of your bra but don't tell anyone why and that will help with BCA! WHAAAA? What you said makes sense. I mean, that is one of the ways to raise money for St. Baldricks--I'll shave my hair off for a donation. And thanks to amazing friends and family

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  11. Ugh, this, it's been driving me nuts since I first heard of the issue. I mean, the least you can do is link to where you can donate on the selfie. How the hell would it raise awareness otherwise? =_=

    I also agree that it's really silly to applaud women for not wearing make-up. I feel that wearing make-up is a choice, for me, some sort of art medium that I use to express myself. However, I feel that it should never be considered a necessity, but it shouldn't be something that people are shamed for, either. It's purely the choice of an individual that everyone need to learn to respect: There is nothing wrong with wearing make-up and there is nothing wrong with not wearing make-up, and that's the end of it.

    I PARTLY disagree with you on the last part, though. I agree it's definitely worth it to actually to a cause directly or educating yourselves on it instead of using said cause purely as an excuse to post a selfie But for many people, selfies are considered a form of self-expression, not vanity (although there's certainly no shortage of the latter). Again, I feel people shouldn't be shamed for taking selfies. I doubt Frida Kahlo drew self-portraits out of vanity, for example.

    I have more to say on this, but I feel I'd just end up quoting this article, so I'd rather give the writer the traffic: http://fatbodypolitics.com/2013/11/22/for-the-love-of-selfies/ (please tell me if it's not okay to post links)

    All in all, THANK YOU for writing this, Elvira. :)

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  12. Great post. We have become such a self-absorbed society and it is really a shame. A little empathy and awareness would go a long way to helping solve some of the world's problems.

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  13. LOVE this post! SO true! I used the zombie no makeup for my 'selfié' (i did credit #pinksith for it) and i have to say i am very comfortable and pleased with it as such. im glad you took on this topic and have gotten to the core about how it is another practice that shames women, under the guise of something "beneficial" (indeed, how does a #nomakeup #selfie do *any*thing for cancer- maybe #shavedmyhead #selfie would be slightly more meaningful in a show of solidarity...). Seriously, aces to you! <3

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  14. Totally agree. Nothing brave about posting a makeup-free picture unless your self-esteem is as fragile as a blade of grass. Kinda mocks the bravery of people who must shore up to face cancer... also, all those girls in the examples you used are most certainly under 25. I pity any young lady who is truly afraid to go makeup-free, in part because I was one. It doesn't get any better than how you look now, girls! And SHOCKINGLY enough, your life doesn't end when your dewy youth wanes.

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  15. I hadn't realized the statistics for children has risen so much. How very sad. King Arthur Flour is sponsoring cookie bake sales for Cookies For Kid's Cancer: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2014/03/23/cookies-for-kids-cancer/

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  16. I was just so happy to read this. Everything is dead on.

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  17. Amen! But maybe we'd see less no make up selfies if there were not all those enablers out there stroking such fragile egos. If no one was interested the trend would stop, so why is it continuing?

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  18. Preach. I've been reading your blog for a couple years now, but I never comment. You hit the nail on the head and spoke for me. Thank you for putting into words what I've only been able to face palm about.

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  19. I love your honest opinion about this...I agree on some levels and some not really. First, the narcissism: I think girls (men) who #selfie a lot for likes are actually really insecure. A true Narcissist couldn't care less about getting too many likes as he/she is already so much in love with him/herself. I think about the original Greek myth: Narcissus had a girl with a crush on him but he was too busy staring in the pond at his own reflection. True narcissist take selfies and do not share, but stare at them in the train/car/etc instead of looking if other people like them (personally, I can be one of them).

    Then again, I totally agree that the no makeup selfie is another way of trying to 1. fit in 2. get attention/likes/egoboost/fluff up low selfconfidence. Worse, most of the "no makeups" have the what "stealth makeup" on that we-beautybloggers know so well. Or are so ridiculously young/facelifted that they should be without that much makeup.
    Ok, gonna check my own selfie again without sharing it to anyone because....;)

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