The five selfies of parenthood


Unless you were under a rock on craggy island, you’ll have noticed last week’s social media phenomenon: the #nomakeupselfie.

By the time I’d clocked all the bare faces pouring into my timeline, the meme had morphed from its original statement about ‘natural beauty’ (or something of that sort), into an attempt to raise money for treating breast cancer. So I joined in.

Unsurprisingly, this mass image sharing of make-up free women, proved controversial. How, exactly, was this linked to breast cancer? And why was showing one’s unmade-up face to the public through facebook, Twitter and Instagram, such a ‘brave’ or uncommon act?

These arguments have been eloquently explored by others who are much more qualified to give their opinions. Like Kristina Egan in the Huffington Post.Β  So I’m not going to repeat them here.

But to be fair to those who bought into the meme, I think the point might have been less about make-up, and more to do with ‘keeping it real’. Showing people without their ‘public’ faces on. This is why the most effective #nomakeupselfies were of TV presenters and other celebrities, whose appearances are the products of hours of time and energy. In these cases, the difference between the fizogs we see on television, and the images that shot into our timelines, was the most marked. The pictures of my non-showbiz friends, on the other hand, showed them looking pretty much the same as usual.

My own picture was taken on the hop, before the pre-school run. Just after I’d asked my four-year-old son, for the seventh time, to put on his shoes, and a couple of minutes before my two-year-old daughter announced that she’d done a poo. But despite my rushed effort, I was quite happy with my #nomakeupselfie. I was smiling; the camera angle was a flattering one. I was posing for the shot, just like everyone is taught from a young age.

Is that ‘keeping it real’, though? Does it show the private reality behind the public composure?

Not if you’re a parent, it doesn’t.

Here are some selfies that might more accurately represent the day-to-day reality of life behind doors, when you’re looking after youngsters.

[The more picky among you will notice that, yes, I AM wearing make-up in these shots. I like to keep it real. But not THAT real. This is going out on the world wide web, after all :-)]

nomakeupselfie Baby….sick….down….cleavage……


Β  #nomakeupselfie

You wanted a blue plate. I’ve given you a green one. And it’s sparked THIS reaction??? That screaming, thrashing, dervish-like behaviour???!!



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You’re trying to take a few moments for yourself, to snap some selfies for your blog. Then your toddler comes over and insists she sits on your lap. Well….I suppose she IS pretty darned cute.


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Quick! Mr Maker’s on the telly, and both children are held captive by his googly eyes and gloopy glue. This may be my only chance to grab forty winks.


What would be YOUR #parenthoodselfie? Go on – I dare you to facebook or tweet it!

This post is part of Our Time of Gifts, my year-long adventure in sharing. Each week, I’ll loan or give something away, then see what the universe brings to my doorstep. This week, I donated money to Cancer Research UK.

Click here to find out more about Our Time of Gifts.


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58 thoughts on “The five selfies of parenthood

  1. Ha brilliant. I’m feeling your exhausted selfie. I suppose the nomakeselfie is almost a great way of sticking two fingers up to media and the pressures it puts on us to look a certain way. It’s a collective F*** you, in the same way we are saying the same to cancer. All for a good cause x

  2. Haha! I think I would rather do the parent selfies than the no make up one and just donate anyway – loving your ‘yuk at puke’ face – I hate puke – just the worst. I agree that the impact on the no make up selfies is far more relevant for celebs than normal people and I have struggled to see how a picture of me without make up would help anyone – other than the donation part which I can do without inflicting pictures of my bare face on people (nobody needs to see me like that – trust me!) #blogclub
    Rollercoaster Mum recently posted…A STEM Festival and some science to celebrate National Science and Engineering WeekMy Profile

  3. Hahaha – so funny and so true! These sort of selfies are the ones I think every parent can relate to. If I’m ever in the middle of a tense debate like the one about the no makeup selfies – I want you as my wingman to break the tension with funny faces πŸ˜‰

  4. I loved your take on selfies and agree that it got a bit controversial. I did one and thought it was a great way of raising awareness (made me remember I’m 8 months overdue for my female MOT). Great post x #pocolo

  5. Well the last photo certainly reminds me of the Mother…………… I admire the mummies who did the photo thingy with no paint on their face. My Nanny Bet was poorly and sadly I never got to meet her so if we can help those that are poorly, I think this is awesome. You also all looked REALLY weird!!! #pocolo
    KidGLloves recently posted…Dear Lucas: FlowerMy Profile

  6. What a fun post! I love your selfies and what made me choose your thumbnail amongst the 105 on #PoCoLo was that face! Haha, kids’ tantrums! Your first selfie (eyes) is absolutely stunning! x Mel
    Mel recently posted…Truffles with a TwistMy Profile

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