Participating in viral social campaigns is like playing a game of telephone. It starts with a simple message - - I like the smell of freshly squeezed lemons - - and by the time it reaches you, the message has been warped and construed beyond recognition - - wind chimes are an out of tune elephant - -
The Dare To Bare campaign is the latest craze to hit the Facebook feed (in Canada at least). It started out with a few ladies brave enough to post a selfie with no makeup. I didn’t know what Dare To Bare was from the first few posts from friends. Based on the photos and comments, I figured this was a campaign similar to the absurd Neknomination movement but targeted towards positive female empowerment. Don’t be afraid to show off your natural beauty, and while you’re at it, nominate someone else to do the same.
You go, girls! You’re not afraid to show the world what you look like behind the layers of coloured cake we slather on our faces to mask our insecurities and imperfections.
More and more selfies are popping up, followed by numerous ‘likes’ and comments commending their heroic achievements. Then somewhere along the way it takes a hard left turn. Someone does a Google search and discovers the REAL point of the campaign and takes a big shit on everyone who already posted a photo. To actually participate, you’re supposed to sign up and then post your photos through your social channels to encourage people to donate in an effort to raise awareness around cancer.
In the same vein, let’s look at how effective Movember is. Not those who collect donations but the ones who simply grow a stache for awareness. I doubt (and I could be severely wrong about this) that when guys encounter a mighty stache, they stop and think, “Thank you for the reminder, hairy lip companion. I shall go at once and get my prostate examined.” This isn’t to say that these selfies are reminding me to check myself regularly either but if it does for a small percentage of women, then fantastic!
Did a lot of people miss the real point of the campaign? Sure they did. But what exactly is wrong with the spun-off interpretations? Is it awful to promote natural beauty? Is it wrong to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone? Is it somehow harmful to read encouraging comments that help boost one’s self-esteem?
Let’s get one thing straight here, folks. People like to participate on social media because it’s fun, it’s a regular form of communication, and a way to connect with others. When did we all get so judgmental about what we choose to share?
If you’re one of these people who can’t help but share comments regarding others’ lack of knowledge around the Dare To Bare campaign, why don’t you instead donate to the cause and post a comment about your contribution? You’ll probably end up educating those who weren’t aware of the original intent instead of shaming them for doing it wrong in the first place.
It’s just like the game of telephone. When it’s your turn, you may not have heard the original message correctly but what you decide to pass on will affect your followers. Plus, wasn’t it more fun to purposely mess up the message anyway? :)