By Misty Watson The Daily Citizen, Dalton, Ga.
I am so proud of some of my female friends right now.
I know for some women, stripping off the makeup and being seen publicly is not easy.
I grew up with a mom who put on waterproof mascara to go to the pool.
So to see them posting bare-faced "selfies" on Facebook and Twitter deserves some praise. (Forgive me for contributing to the downfall of the English language with the use of selfie in this column. At least I didn't use the word twerk.)
There's a lot of criticism surrounding the #nomakeupselfie fad making its way through social media.
From what I can tell through British media -- as most American media seem to be ignoring the fad -- it began as a response to actress Kim Novak's appearance at the Academy Awards.
Twitter exploded, making fun of the actress' appearance, so people started posting photos of themselves without makeup to support her.
It has evolved to a form of raising awareness of women who are battling cancer.
Several blog posts and columns are shaming women for taking part in the fad.
Many authors call it a "slap in the face" and say the bravery required to post a photo of yourself without makeup is nothing compared to the bravery women must face to battle cancer.
Others praise participants for taking a selfish act and turning it into something positive, and some say money has been raised through such efforts.
Hopefully the photos prompt someone to donate money for cancer research or to pray for those battling with cancer and their caretakers.
I'm not really a fan of posting something to Facebook, then pretending I've done something grand to help a charity.
I'm also not a fan of boasting what I do to help others, keeping in mind Matthew 6:2.
I think getting involved in the local Relay For Life -- whether you have a team, help with a team or attend team fundraisers or the Relay itself -- would be a better way to show support to those with cancer.
Go to relayforlife.org for more information.
Still, I'm proud of women for stepping outside of their comfort zone. I'm glad to see women showing their true beauty instead of an artificial one.
I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had makeup on in the last 10 years: my engagement photos, my wedding, my sister's wedding and for my maternity photos when I was too big and too hot to fight back when a friend started putting it on me after fixing my hair.
I refuse to be swept up by an industry telling me I need their product to be beautiful.
I'd like to think women everywhere would realize this, and if their first step is posting a selfie without makeup on, so be it.
The response to my friends posting online has been positive and hopefully encouraging.
So many women are posting comments like "You are so gorgeous!" or "You are always beautiful."
In an online world where people have no filter and often their inner mean girl shines, it's encouraging to see women uplifting each other instead of tearing each other down.
Granted, I don't know it's doing much to help the battle on cancer, but I say post on, ladies.
Learn to be confident in who you are without hiding behind a mask.