Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Blue If I Was Green I Would Die

I dyed my hair blue this weekend.

Not like super blue, and definitely not all of it. I was afraid it wasn't going to work, and I was afraid I would turn everything blue. But no, it is a nice subtle blue on the very bottom most layer. The point was that it wouldn't be too in your face, but now that I've accomplished the subtle-ness I set out for, I find myself disappointed.

At first I was afraid of what people were going to say. I was, albeit very briefly, nervous that they would not like it. And now I am disappointed because nobody notice.

It was too subtle.

I'm really under the impression lately that if people aren't staring at you, you're doing something wrong. With my foray into wearing whatever I like, regardless of what the general consensus is, I find myself super comfortable with other people looking at me. In fact, the greatest little moments I experience are when I notice that other people have been staring. It makes me feel like there's something worth noticing about me, and that makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

They may be staring at me because I have a brown mustache from the hot chocolate I'm drinking, but it doesn't matter. I'm doing something that makes me stand out, and finally, that's making me feel good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bringing Awareness to Useless Awareness

I have a problem with the word "awareness."

The fall tends to be a time of disease awareness months. October is breast cancer and November is diabetes. But even outside of fall you can see ribbons everywhere symbolizing anything from autism to soldiers overseas. Everyone is trying to get their cause out there, everyone is trying to "raise awareness."

The problem is that this word is grossly misunderstood. The whole point is lost on a lot people simply because "they were already aware of cause xyz." Everybody knows there is breast cancer. Everybody thinks there should be a cure. What on earth does wearing a pink ribbon possibly fix? No cure is gotten from that. The argument is usually that if someone really wants to do something good they should raise money for the cure.

I'm not about to argue that people shouldn't raise money from causes, but perhaps I can shed some light on what I think truly effective "awareness" campaigns are.

Sure, you're aware of breast cancer. Sure, you think there should be a cure. However, do you have a true emotional understanding of the disease, how it affects its victims and families, how much pain women (and some men) go through because of it? Unless someone in your family has ever had breast cancer, it's likely your only "awareness" in this regard comes from Lifetime movies.

Truly successful awareness campaigns don't just make someone aware that a disease or cause exists, they make you want to do something. They make you aware of why the cause is important and why you should care. They're motivation to get more people involved in the fight.

So posting a status about where you like to put your purse, and making it vague enough so that it sounds like you're saying where you like to have sex? Essentially useless. You might as well have done nothing at all. All you did was make a provocative statement, but don't go around thinking that you actually HELPED the breast cancer cause.

Writing an article about how it affected you when your mother/grandmother/aunt/sister had breast cancer? Helping people understand why the cause is important, why they should care, why they should help? Well now we're getting somewhere.

I'd still like to applaud effort though. Trying anything, even if it's kind of a waste of time, still shows care and concern which is important.

Tomorrow is hug a diabetic day. Totally useless awareness campaign? Maybe. But I love hugs.