No make-up selfies 'reinforce negative stereotypes'

By Sophie Ryan

Julie Fairey. Photo / NZ Herald
Julie Fairey. Photo / NZ Herald

A social media trend of women wiping off make-up for a selfie in support of breast cancer research is reinforcing negative stereotypes, according to a local-body politician and branch president for the National Council of Women.

The trend of #nomakeupselfie has been popular on social media where women upload online pictures of themselves without make-up, and encourage people to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Puketapapa Local Board chairwoman and President of the Auckland Branch of the National Council of Women NZ Julie Fairey said the campaign endorses the idea women should feel vulnerable without make-up.

Jessie Williams of Rotorua tweeted for all who have fought or are fighting breast cancer.
Jessie Williams of Rotorua tweeted for all who have fought or are fighting breast cancer.

She supported the intentions of the campaign but criticised the concept that women can show solidarity for those suffering from breast cancer by removing their make-up to appear vulnerable. She said there would be no equal idea for men.

"Recent campaigns for men's health around their appearance would be Movember [when men grow a moustache through November and raise money for men's health] and that is seen as something fun and quite virile for them to do,'' she said.

"A lot of my friends have done it on Facebook, not as much Twitter, and I feel quite touched they're taking that step of solidarity and support, but wish they felt comfortable enough to have photos of them without make up all the time.''

Ms Fairey rarely wore make up in her day-to-day life, she said, and most of her photos on Facebook were of her without make-up.

An earlier version of the report incorrectly quoted Julie Fairey of the National Council of Women as saying women wiping off makeup for 'selfies' in support of breast cancer research is sexist and devalues them. The report also said Ms Fairey is a councillor for the organisation when she is a branch president. The errors are regretted.

- APNZ

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