Thursday, 20 March 2014

As a parent I am the antidote to the norms and expectations of society



It's been a funny old week on social media, loads of bare-faced (ie: no make-up) selfie snaps have started to crop up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What I've seen is lots of women getting on board and doing this (hurting no one I must add) and then a whole load of other people slating them for doing it. What right has anyone to judge another's actions when they are causing no harm?

For the record I'm not big on the viral campaigns that happen on social media every so often and I choose not to get involved. Declaring what bra colour I'm wearing and being cryptic to all the men on Facebook does not appeal to me but I just quietly decline and carry on donating and raising awareness for the charities that ignite my passion.

However many people are completely for cancer related charities and I get that and they want to do their bit to help. So posting a no-make photo on a social media channel won't change the world but it might help one women think about checking her breasts, or a guy his balls for a lump. That's good, right?

I feel mad as anything that after all the animosity people now seem to feel they have to justify why they are posting a selfie picture and we are now seeing lots of images of confirmation of text donations to Cancer Research. People, you do not have to justify your actions to the social media police. You are an adult, do what suits you, we all make our own decisions. Post a photo if you want, post a link to Cancer Research, post a link to how to check for signs of cancer or make a donation, it is completely down to you.

What I have been really pleased to see this week is lots of conversations about women, about our faces without make-up, about our laughter lines, about societies expectations of us and how we should look. These are great conversations. When I see things like my SIL showing her 17 year old daughter that it is OK to go out in public without make-up and feel good about it, my heart lifts a bit.

As mother I feel I need to try and offer the antidote to the norms and expectations that society, TV program's, glossy magazines and advertising are placing on my children. I regularly go without make-up. Why? Because I want to? Sometimes I can't be arsed, sometimes I want to give my skin a rest and other times it might just be too hot in the summer to worry.

This doesn't mean that I'm lucky and I have no spots or lines. I'm 40 years old and about 7 stone overweight, I have my issues, which you will clearly realise if you have ever read this blog before but I do feel passionate that even though there are parts we want to change, we must not get hung-up with what is expected of us. We can tell our children all sorts of wonderful things and encourage them to live different to us but you know what will stay with them? Your actions, they watch you and learn from you and when you flinch when they cuddle your flab they see that and subconsciously register 'fat is bad'. So in the same ilk when you refuse to never go bare-faced they register that and the subconscious says 'ladies must wear make-up every day'.

You might read that and get mad at me, what am I putting on you? All these responsibilities that you hold as a parent, they just feel too much to bare and how will you cope? But you will, we all do. We won't do parenting and modelling perfectly but we will do it good enough and we need to give ourselves a break and recognise that we are good enough and real. perfection does not exist!

And there ends my rant. What is your take on this?

Oh and if you feel like donating to Cancer Research then I'll make it easy for you and here's the link - http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/
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