#nomakeupselfies: the Face of Hashtag Slacktivism
This article interrogates the significance of the selfie in the construction of contemporary female identity through a close analysis of the #nomakeupselfie meme. Drawing on the distinct but conversant theoretical frameworks of cyber-feminisms, post-feminisms and breast cancer culture, it involves both a theoretical investigation and a phenomenological reflection on the selfie trend in question. Mobilizing Foucault’s concept of governmentality, which he used to contextualise the link between technologies of domination and his later postulations on technologies of the self, the article explores the oppositional feminist viewpoints regarding empowerment and agency in online identity construction. It also constitutes an auto-ethnographic response to the phenomenon from my nuanced position as a young, female, selfie-taking, feminist, academic, breast cancer survivor. The analysis of the #nomakeupselfie meme focuses on three central issues: the problematic relationship between breast cancer and beauty; the trivialization, infantilisation and sexualisation of the disease inherent in contemporary breast cancer culture and the self-commodification of the female body as part of a consumer activist transaction.