Tag Archives: charity

BareFaced Cheek

make upGreat news girls! Children in Need is launching its first ‘BearFaced Day’. On this day, you go without any makeup to help raise money for disadvantaged children, so put down that mascara and hang fire with the lippy.

To persuade us, Louise Redknapp, Lulu, Julia Bradbury and newsreader Sian Williams have been photographed by Rankin, (apparently) without a scrap of makeup on, ahem. Rankin, the world famous photographer. These woman no doubt also have access to world famous beauticians, facialists, dieticians. Who wouldn’t look radiant? I’m sure they don’t do their own housework or ironing or cooking either. They have no money worries, no fear of redundancy, no anxiety about retiring on a decent pension.

So why are they pulling rank and shoving this quite literally in our faces? Is it not enough to flaunt their exalted status to us minions, now they want to strip us of our one last defence against an often cruel world? Is it a case of, ‘see how beautiful and rich I am, you common little peasant, you?’ It is certainly a case of extreme vanity, if nothing else. There is something quite uncomfortable about rich people asking us hard-pressed peeps to part with our money. And in such an audacious manner.

There is a charity which visits woman undergoing breast cancer surgery, giving them makeovers. This has been shown to improve their self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. Can you imagine the uproar if a breast cancer charity fundraised by asking women to go without make up? Women going make-up free and raising funds for disadvantaged children is a very tenuous, slender link, based solely on the double bear/bare sound. Very clever, marketing guys, just jog on, eh?

In my case, I would frighten children and sentence them to years of therapy if I went without my daily slap, which kind of defeats the purpose. I don’t have cancer, but with MS ravaging my confidence, I rely on my box of tricks to set me up for the day. With a bit of makeup on, I can walk (stumble) with my head held high.

However, I would take part in ‘BearFaced Day’ on one condition. That I could wear a Pudsey costume the entire time…

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Pink With Envy?

I am loathe to admit it, but I used to be envious of the publicity given to breast cancer awareness – the girly sponsored walks, the dizzying range of pink goods flooding the shops every October and the endless celebrity endorsements. By comparison, multiple sclerosis seems a very poor cousin indeed.

Would it be easier for me, and society as a whole, to accept my multiple sclerosis if it was dressed up in loving, pink fluffiness? Or if I knew that thousands and thousands of strangers were doing their bit for a charity that would benefit me?

Yet, people are now starting to question the dubious ways in which very tenuously-linked items are being marketed to raise money for breast cancer. Recent examples include a Pink Ribbon Barbie, pink hair straighteners and a pink Makita drill, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Are we now reaching pink overkill?

It is a contentious subject. If vast sums of money are generated and donated to search for a cure and fund services, who can grumble that it is all a bit too much and even a little tasteless.

Perhaps though,  by thrusting such private, personal ‘battles’ with breast cancer into the glare of publicity, this somehow demeans and cheapens individual experiences of the illness. Would I want to be implored to stand up, fight back, remain positive and all the other mantras by people who have no idea what it’s really like – probably not.

There is a fascinating article in the Daily Mail about this subject – have a read, it’s eye-opening…



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Firewalking. Seriously?

imagesCAARAXK5I had an email yesterday, an update about ways to get involved in raising money for charity. Fundraising is admirable, worthy, makes you feel good inside and funding multiple sclerosis societies and their research is vital.

So when they knocked around a few ideas of how to raise this money, WHO came up with the idea of firewalking?

If one of the most common and distressing symptoms of MS is heat intolerance, it seems a bit of a strange and slightly cruel choice. How about upping the ante and have people fire-eating and firewalking simultaneously?

A lot of regional societies organise these events and apparently you walk 20 feet across burning embers, with the coals reaching 1200 degrees fahrenheit ( a crematorium burns at around 1400 degrees). In the information section, the guidelines state you must be able to lift your feet and take a minimum of 8 steps at fast pace. Hmm. Beginning to sound like a Disability Living Allowance assessment – at least we’re on familiar territory. In addition, ‘you may use walking sticks or mobility aids but please be aware that these may suffer fire damage’. Hey, that sounds great fun, where do I sign up?

Instead, how about choosing something us MS’ers are good at? A sofa-thon? Who can stay on their sofa the longest (me, me!). Or MS Snap? Give people some cards, get them to write down all their symptoms, shuffle them around and play a couple of games. For the uninitiated, MS has a vast amount of symptoms, so these games could run and run. Sometimes the old ways are the best though, so if you see a sad figure forlornly rattling a collection tin, pop some money in. It could be me,..

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