A #realnomakeupselfie

So, about this #nomakeupselfie and, now, the lads #makeupselfie.

I think its brilliant that Cancer Research have benefitted by a few million quid and counting from a viral campaign they didn’t start.


The truth is I’m still not sure how I feel about so-called ‘awareness’ campaigns that don’t actually, erm, deliver genuine awareness.

We all know cancer exists and that if you get it, at the very least you’ll endure some crappy treatment, and at worst you’ll die.

You want to go deeper than that? Great! – where do you want to start? – like, how and how often you check your breasts? How long you’ve had that cough? What about that headache? That mole? And as for that bloated feeling in your tummy, the backache, the pain when you pee….?

I know plenty of people who believe that anything that raises the profile is good, and the reasons I often disagree have more to do with commercial hijacking – the “buy my product and I’ll donate a penny to cancer causes” kinda thing – than anything else. And I keep coming back to what it means to be “aware”.

So here’s a #realnomakeupselfie for you.

2013-01-13 21.00.04 he4dgirl

It costs me every ounce of my pride to post it because I don’t look cute. I look tired. I look sick. I was on round five of six chemos for my fourth cancer. My hair was gone, and the few remaining lashes that clung to my eyes would be gone a few days after this picture was taken.

But this is real. This is what cancer looks like, when you have nothing left with which to paint on even a smile, much less some eyebrows. It’s ugly.

So do please donate, to whichever cancer cause means the most to you, while you play. Its good, and it does help. But if you really want to support awareness, be the guardian of your body, be vigilant for changes, and teach those you love to do the same. It’s that which may save your life some day.

Oh, and stop fucking smoking.

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