I’m just loving the #nomakeupselfie craze

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ll have noticed the sudden influx of selfies being uploaded onto social media sites. Specifically, they’re selfies of women – with no makeup on. The craze is to “raise cancer awareness” and I must confess that my first reaction when it came to my attention was “how the hell is posting a picture of yourself without any slap on going to raise awareness? I’m already well aware of cancer, thanks very much!”

I’ll happily admit that I was wrong. Cancer Research UK has reported a huge boost to the donations being made, which is obviously a good thing. People who have dismissed the selfie-posting as nothing more than an ego trip, or, as I did, not the best way to raise awareness, have helped too, by posting links to donate instead, or advice on being familiar with the symptoms of various cancers. Lads are getting involved; I’ve seen a fair few photos of men doing their bit with their best trout pouts on the go. And to those who are whinging about people who are posting screenshots of their donation, saying that people shouldn’t feel the need to shout about giving to charity – you are wrong; if even one person sees that screenshot and is encouraged to donate themselves because of it then it’s had a positive effect.

I eventually plucked up the courage to post one (naturally in very poor lighting, sans flash, I’m not stupid) and I’ve donated £3 by texting BEAT to 70099. £3 may not sound like a lot. But if you think about the amount of photos you’ve seen on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram timelines, and if all of those people have donated too, and factor in that thousands of people are doing the same all over the country, then it all adds up. And, whether you’ve posted a picture or not, it has all stemmed from the #nomakeupselfie fad – I wouldn’t have donated £3 on a random Wednesday night otherwise. It’s nice to see social media’s power in a positive light for once.

A final note – one of the nicest things about it is how bloody lovely everyone looks. Of course, the whole exercise is narcissistic – person posts photo, gets loads of “likes”, Facebook friends comment “OMG you look gawjus hun xxx” in their droves. But you know what? Everyone does look “gawjus hun”. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Rainbow laces campaign – #RBGF

Every so often, Joey Barton takes a break from winding people up on Twitter to actually say something that makes some sense.

This is one of those times.

Barton is one of the high-profile stars lending their support to the campaign which aims to highlight the issue of homophobia in football. It’s a joint venture between gay rights charity Stonewall and the betting firm Paddy Power, and has seen rainbow laces sent to all professional teams in England and Scotland during the past week.

I think it’s a great idea. It is addressing an issue that should not even be an issue in this day and age. There are currently no openly gay players in top-flight football – the odds that this is actually the case are tiny. Yet fear of a negative reaction from teammates and fans – not to mention the all-important implications on their commercial interests – is clearly preventing gay players from coming out of the closet.

Everton (go ‘ed my Blue boys!) were the first Premier League club to confirm that they were lending their full support to the campaign. Phil Jagielka, their captain, said “For me and the rest of the lads at Everton a player’s sexuality is not important, but their ability on the pitch is. We don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind at Everton and the whole club works hard to get that message out to the fans.”

A great message and a great example to be setting.

Unfortunately Everton are in the minority. The Premier League and almost half of its clubs have expressed “disappointment” that they weren’t consulted sooner as the involvement of Paddy Power meant that their “commercial interests” would be compromised – yet another example of the fact that, in football, money is all that matters. Barton expressed disbelief that a TalkSport debate was musing over the “technical issues” faced by players changing their laces, confirming that he’d worn them twice and had not experienced any problems.

Well I’m sorry but this all sounds like a cop-out to me. Quite apart from being a PR nightmare, for these high-profile clubs to take this stance and blame “lack of time”, “commercial conflict” and “technical issues” as excuses is just no good. If this were an anti-racism campaign, I doubt hugely that it would have been met with so much resistance, whether Paddy Power were involved or not.

Granted, the hashtag #RBGF, which stands for “Right Behind Gay Footballers”, isn’t the best choice of tagline for such a campaign – I refuse to believe that it’s an innocent choice of language – but then again, it’s been included in over 230 million tweets since last Sunday, according to Stonewall’s Twitter, so surely raising awareness in this (admittedly linguistically crass) way is a good thing?

If all of these frankly pathetic reasons are truly why the majority of clubs are reluctant to participate, then Stonewall and Paddy Power need to change tack. They need to liaise properly with the League and with Kick It Out (the anti-discrimination campaigners) to ensure that every nonsensical administrative box is ticked, that all “commercial interests” are content, that all technical issues are addressed, that vulgar and provocative language is not used.

I’m afraid to say that I am not convinced that the outcome would be very different – there’s a long way to go with this particular issue.

Why I dislike Katie Hopkins

Because hate is a strong word…

 

So, Katie Hopkins is at it again.  Fresh from her appearance on This Morning which hit the headlines as she snootily declared that she would not allow her precious cherubs to associate with children with “common” names like Tyler and Charmaine (The Willoughbooby was NOT impressed), and not long after stating that ginger children were “harder to love”, she’s now written an article listing the ten reasons why women hate other women.

 

Here’s a link:

 

http://www.bestdaily.co.uk/your-life/news/a503520/katie-hopkins-the-10-reasons-women-hate-other-women.html

 

What a load of poisonous nonsense.  I only dislike people – women OR men – if they are, to give a few examples, dishonest, or bigoted, or if they hurt my family and friends.  To use ol’ Katie as a case in point, I do not dislike her because she is happy with her lot, or because she’s “got what she wants.”  I dislike her because she is a snob, and because if I had children, she would probably dismiss them as unworthy for her kids to play out with.  I dislike her because I feel that her opinions are damaging and that they are encouraging women to turn against each other.

 

To prove the latter point, I am saddened to see that her Twitter timeline is awash with women agreeing with her views.  Is that what she wants?  Women admitting that they are jealous of each other, and are bitter about the fact that they are not slim, or successful, or haven’t got a nanny?  Whatever happened to Girl Power?  These people would never have made it as Spice Girls, I tells ye.

 

Like Liz Jones (frankly terrifying) and Samantha Brick (frankly deluded) before her, she is just another spiteful hack who thinks she’s telling it like it is.  In reality I strongly believe that all of three of these women don’t believe the majority of the bile they pen – they are solely doing it for attention. 

 

So for that reason, I will speak about her no more.  She craves the attention.  Hopefully, if we all ignore her from now on, she will realise that no-one is listening anymore and will fade away from the spotlight.

                                                                                                 

Side-note – my favourite quote in the article is the following:  “Men are capable of looking one another in the eye and telling it straight.”  Really?!  The majority of men I know are frankly useless at communicating.  Lovely men nonetheless, but rubbish at “telling it straight.”  So to give Katie her due, that at least raised a wry grin.