Admist the viral activity of the #WeAreALLClean campaign for World AIDS Day we got in touch with its creator, and first openly HIV positive contestant of Project Runway, Jack Mackenroth.
The selfie has been imperative to charity campaigns in 2014 with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Cancer Awareness No Make Up Selfie and Cock In A Sock (for testicular Cancer) all using the concept to get the public involved. Because basically most people don’t give a fuck about charity, but they’l happily set fire to their savings to sheepishly be part of the consensus and rack up a number of ‘like’s on Facebook. Probably the only time that vanity is considered a good thing. Still, if playing on the public’s need for validation in turn raises money and awareness for a good cause – we’re behind it!
Jack states, “the idea came to me after seeing the ALS challenge success and considering how difficult it is to fundraise for HIV/AIDS because the general public does not see it in the mainstream media anymore”. Which quite frankly is right. Every year all of the gay bars in London put on events/set up express testing stations to raise awareness and help promote regular testing – but the question remains – is that enough?
Jack goes on, “I was inspired by the use of the word ‘clean’, especially common in gay culture, to describe oneself as STI/STD free. This implies that HIV-positive people are somehow ‘dirty’”. Hence why men world wide are soaping up for selfies. So you get to raise awareness/money and make your ex jealous!
But Jack goes on to say that “a lot of them are just copying other outlets and focusing on the hot guys and getting the message wrong”, as one user on social media comments:
Hmm, she’s clearly as smart as a stapler. The message is to contradict the term “clean” by stating that nobody is ‘dirty’, regardless of their status. There should be no notion of “dirty”. It’s a step towards removing the boundaries between positive and negative gay men. If some negative gay men can’t see past the stigma that surrounds HIV, then how is anybody else supposed to?
When asked who he’d most like to see in the shower (for the selfie, of course) he replied: “Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Jason Statham, Jared Leto, Alicia Keys and Annie Lennox”. GET NAKED GUYS AND GALS!
You know how it works:
1) Take a shower selfie (no explicit nudity – this isn’t X Tube, bitches).
2) Post on to social media, with the hashtag #WeAreALLClean
3) Nominate at least three people