Friday 9 December 2016

My 'no make-up selfie' was a liberating experience

Vicky Notaro

Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30

Vicky Notaro was happy to pose for her selfie – after initial reservations.
Vicky Notaro was happy to pose for her selfie – after initial reservations.

Last week, I noticed a trend starting online. Women had begun posting pictures of their bare faces on social media under the hashtag #nomakeupselfie, and nominating their friends to do the same to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. My instinct upon seeing the posts was blase. I didn't understand how a picture of a woman without her slap could help, and if I'm honest, I thought it was a novel way for some of the usual online show-offs to brag about their clear skin. But if charities were benefiting, what harm was it?

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However, as the week went on and the campaign gained traction, with hundreds of thousands of euro being raised for the Irish Cancer Society, I realised this wasn't just something the genetically blessed among us were doing for attention. The hashtag was genuinely getting people talking about cancer, highlighting the issue and fundraising all at once.

Instead of jumping on board, I secretly hoped the whole thing would go away before I was nominated. It wasn't that I didn't want to do my bit, I was simply terrified that doing my bit would involve revealing a part of me I didn't want the public to see.

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