Activism (noun)

The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. 

Welcome to 2014, a year where the voice, the opportunity to be heard and listened too  all presents itself through eight simple letters: Facebook.

Facebook prides itself on the notion of connection – you have the ability to share your thoughts, beliefs and every move with the world, where the possibilities are endless – why not utilise this social revolution for change? Clicktivism refers to how social causes can engage individuals and increase a campaign through social media and the internet (Dictionary.com). Clicktivism is an effective way to encourage individuals to participate in campaigns, but, once the main contributor is youth – the clicktivism evolves into slactivism. 

The Hamster Wheel explores the modern perception of young people, deeming them useless, spoilt and violent (The Hamster Wheel) and the way that the social networking phenomenon of the ‘No Makeup Selfie’ evolved, is proof that social networking is at once the best, and worst avenue for activists.

The phenomenon began in March 2014, and involved women taking a ‘selfie’ whilst wearing no makeup as an act of bravery to build awareness for breast cancer. While the campaign seemed simple enough, as its popularity grew, so too did the comments of pure bigotry, hatred and cruelty.

As I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed I recall reading statuses stating things such as:

  • “This isn’t curing breast cancer, I’m just seeing ugly people on my newsfeed”
  • “They’ve already cured cancer! The journey to a cure just makes too much money for governments to stop it”
  • “You think posting a picture without makeup takes the same amount of bravery as having your breast removed? You’re all a joke”

While the Facebookers provide a valid argument, Australian singer Ricki Lee fights back against negative commenters on her ‘No Make-Up Selfie’ stating that “…if you don’t like the way somebody looks that’s fine, but keep your negative comments to yourself” (Ricki Lee).


article-0-1C7C0F0900000578-822_634x727 (Images Sourced: Ricki Lee Instagram)

The campaign was successful in attaining popular media attention, as international superstars such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Cameron Diaz and Kim Kardashian were among those who contributed to the cause that raised over one million dollars, donated to organisations devoted to finding a cure.

article-2398273-1B618679000005DC-23_638x618(Image Source: Kim Kardashian Facebook)

p1849k0tij7tf124fa7d1h8c14j8b(Image Source: Lady Gaga Twitter)

rihanna-no-makeup(Image Source: Rihanna Instagram)


The Hamster Wheel – Youth In The Media – YouTube. 2014. The Hamster Wheel – Youth In The Media – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBYkl-EfNFY. [Accessed 13 May 2014].

 Ricki-Lee Coulter fires back at online bullies after posting photo on Instagram | The Courier-Mail. 2014.  Ricki-Lee Coulter fires back at online bullies after posting photo on Instagram | The Courier-Mail. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/rickilee-coulter-fires-back-at-online-bullies-after-posting-photo-on-instagram/story-fnihsrk2-1226861965057. [Accessed 13 May 2014].


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