It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since my daughter and I put on our blue eyeshadow and participated in Wink Day 2015, but here it is again and as it turns out, I’m at her house again.
What is Wink Day, you ask? It’s a day set aside by the Canadian beauty industry, through it’s charitable foundation, Beauty Gives Back, in support of women going through the social and emotional challenges of the Cancer Blues. Women across Canada are encouraged to post pictures and videos of themselves wearing blue eyeshadow (with the hashtag #winkday) as a way of raising awareness of the Cancer Blues. The Cancer Blues is a term, coined by Beauty Gives Back, to describe the emotional distress caused by cancer and its treatment, an often ignored consequence of the disease that can seriously affect a person’s ability to fight and thrive through the ordeal.
My daughter looks great in blue eyeshadow, but me, not so much! “It ages you,” she told me as we applied our make-up and I think she’s right. For Wink Day, however, I’ll put vanity aside.
For over 20 years, Beauty Gives Back has supported tens of thousands of Canadian women through the Cancer Blues with programs such as Look Good Feel Better and FacingCancer.ca. Look Good Feel Better workshops are free of charge to all women with cancer and are designed to help them feel better about themselves and thus face their illness with greater confidence. Over 1800 volunteer cosmetic advisers and hair alternative specialists give generously of their time to bring the two hour seminars to cancer care centres across the country. I was so impressed with my own Look Good Feel Better experience that I’m now a spokesperson for the program helping promote the twice a year fundraising galas put on by Shopper’s Drug Mart, one of the program’s biggest sponsors.
Though I’ve been diagnosed with two completely unrelated cancers over the past three years, one of which is incurable, I must admit that I haven’t experienced the degree of mental distress that many victims of the Cancer Blues do. I attribute this to my faith, my wonderfully supportive family and friends, a great cancer care team and the fact that, so far, my treatment has been successful. My disease is stable and I’m able to live a reasonably normal life. I do, however, love those occasions when I’m someplace where no one knows that I’m the woman with cancer; moments when I can almost forget about it myself.
On days like Wink Day, however, I’m eager to do my part to raise awareness even if it means looking totally silly! It’s not too late to join the fun. Simply post a picture or a video of yourself wearing blue eyeshadow on social media anytime before the end of June (with the hashtag #winkday) or visit winkday.ca to find out how else you can help.