Last Friday, 1st November, was #nofilterday. A little initiative that Cupcake Mummy & I came up with. I don’t think either of us could have imagined that it would be so popular that that little # started trending in South Africa before 8am on Friday morning. You were brave enough and thank you to everyone who participated. I made a couple of surprising observations on the day:
Firstly, how through bravely stripping away our socially accepted masks, we were able to develop a great sense of camaraderie and of community. That by ripping down our walls, for just one day, helped me form stronger bonds and understanding of how a community of my peers tick. I was particularly touched by the bravery displayed by those who posted, whether on Instagram or on Twitter, about battles with illness, eating disorders and depression, the very things we do our best to hide form others. The images about eating disorders and depression really touched me and I have a new found respect for those who participated.
I was surprised that there were a number of people who expressed offence at what was being posted on #nofilterday. Particularly the men who found the first morning selfies of us women, unmade up and dishevelled, offensive! In a society that places such huge emphasis on how a woman looks and on what beauty is, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. But what did surprise me was that so often, men are the ones who complain the most about the amount of make up etc women choose to wear, so often claiming they preferred the “natural” look. And yet, when faced with so many fresh faces, they were horrified.
Then there were those who claimed they didn’t need to participate in #nofilterday because they never filtered their lives online anyway. Ja right! That very sentiment alone is a filter, a wall to hide behind, pretending to be so ballsy that you have nothing to hide? Well the reality for me is that your ballsiness is exactly the filter you use, or the wall you hide behind. At the end of the day, every single one of us has something to hide, every single one of us has insecurities, just some of us are brave enough to own it and show it.
There were also a lot of people who missed the point of #nofilterday completely, it was not an invitation to be rude, disrespectful and tactless in any way shape or form and I saw some heinous tweets going out, under the guise of #nofilterday, for eg:
Why do people living in poverty have so many children? Is it coz you don’t have tv? You don’t have time to get a free condom? #nofilterday
I don’t think either Cupcake Mummy or I could have imagined just how large #nofilter day would become for just that one day. When we initially had the idea, it was really about mommy’s getting together to help each other out, about feeling better about ourselves as mothers, by seeing other mom’s lives without filters on. It was about stripping away the social media filter that we all use (if we can admit it or not) on a daily basis. It was about showing the elements of our lives that we struggle with, that we felt guilty about or that we didn’t like.
Those who did participate enjoyed it, I know I did and I have seen numerous tweets doing the rounds about what a great initiative it had been for so many women & mothers and many have suggested that it should be come a weekly event, a #nofilterfriday but personally I don’t think I could bare stripping myself so bare on a weekly basis.
For now, Cupcake Mummy and I have agreed to do this on an annual basis, 1st November going forward will now be #nofilter day and we’d love it if you continued to join us!