Watch Lauren Luke's video and make a difference. [Video via Panacea81, Lauren's YouTube channel].
In a society where beauty bloggers and YouTube sensations have the power to influence millions of young women with their content, I'm chuffed to see that make-up artist Lauren Luke has taken advantage of this with a brilliant new campaign for the charity Refuge. You may know Lauren for her ability to replicate a celebrity look in just a few minutes, but this time she's focusing on something much closer to home, with a situation that none of us would envy.
Lauren's latest video sees our heroine teaching viewers how to cover up a black eye, a split lip and bruising around the neck - luckily these injuries are fake, as it's all part of her work with the domestic violence organisation. Looking after women who have been suffering attacks by the hands of those closest to them, Refuge aims to 'help bring the issue out of the shadows' and stop this being a 'hidden crime'. Just like Lauren, many victims will struggle to conceal what they've been through (both mentally and physically - but this campaign aims to tackle what is visible to the naked eye). Make-up is not the answer, which is where Refuge comes in.
Worryingly, some of the comments on the video indicate that not everyone understands the point of the campaign and some people assume that the cuts and bruises are real. One user asked: 'are the bruises real or fake? i hope they're fake :(' [sic] and another posted the completely glib 'Get well soon :)' but fortunately these people seem to be in the minority and the message of the video seems to have got across to most viewers. Producing viral content such as this on the very channels that the next generation is addicted to is a great way of approaching a problem when straightforward advertising often falls on deaf ears. Lauren's status as a role model to women has been used to good effect and I think it's really positive that she's reaching out to her fans so directly, with the video being fully explained at the end but otherwise looking like one of her normal tutorials.
I wish Lauren and Refuge success with the campaign, which is so vitally needed at a time when we're being bombarded with promotional images for the singer Chris Brown's new album across billboards and magazine ads; this being the man who savagely attacked his partner Rihanna only a few years ago. If the media and society's conscience is so short then it's important to look at new ways to make powerful viral content that speaks out against domestic violence, which is why this video is so pivotal.