For the past week, females across the UK have been posting on Facebook makeup free pictures of themselves as part of the ‘#nomakeupselfie’ craze to promote Cancer awareness. As well as posting the no makeup pictures, people have been donating money to various Cancer charities such as Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The rules are to post a picture without makeup, donate money, and nominate other female friends to do the same. The viral trend has raised over eight million pounds during the six days of selfies for Cancer Research UK, and the pictures and donations are still flooding in.
There have been some concerns raised about using selfies with no makeup as a way to promote Cancer awareness. However, compared to last month’s #Neknominations; this seems like a completely legal, non-controversial internet craze that is also raising money for charity.
There seems to be more moral backlash against these women posting pictures without make-up on, than there was for people making alcohol concoctions to drink in one go. Maybe it is because the #Neknominations were plain stupid, and everyone knew they were a game to amuse the bored and encourage one-upmanship.
Whilst #nomakeupselfies are supposed to be self-indulgent, shallow and annoying, but then again aren’t most selfies? The difference is these individuals are raising awareness and money. The phrase, ‘all publicity is good publicity,’ comes to mind. With Cancer being the most feared disease in the Western world, others have argued that we cannot be any more aware because someone is diagnosed with Cancer every two minutes and everyone knows someone affected.
This may be the case, but how many of us ‘aware’ people actually donate money to cancer research and support charities? If a selfie craze is getting people to donate money to a worthwhile cause, then where is the problem? I am sure the charities themselves are delighted with the surge in donations and the Scientists, Nurses and Carers are relieved to still have funding for their projects.
The selfies certainly do not relate or understand Cancer sufferers and survivors, but to people telling these women they are not seeing the bigger picture and that posting a selfie with no makeup will not help Cancer sufferers at all: you need to look at it from a different angle. Money and support is all these charities need. They deal with disease and death on a daily basis, so if a pout, camera angle and glimmering filter give them an extra three pounds, the more the merrier!
Carolan Davidge, director of communications at Cancer Research UK, said: “The trend isn’t something Cancer Research UK started so it’s been fantastic to see so many people getting involved and wanting to use their selfie to raise money for our life-saving research.”
The eight million pounds raised so far will fund ten new clinical trials meaning Cancer Research UK will be able to focus on these research projects and new treatments much faster than they had previously anticipated. With the shelf life of internet crazes so short, it is understandable that charities are urging people to carry on posting and donating.
People who receive emails from Macmillan Cancer Support may have received one recently about #makeupselfies, along with a lovely picture of the male Macmillan team sporting red lips and blue eye shadow. This charity has decided to make the most of the #nomakeupselfie train and is encouraging men to wear makeup and donate money; involving the other half of the population and widening the participation levels. With a slogan like; ‘Forget about moustaches, makeup is the new in thing when it comes to raising money for charity,’ how can you resist?
The whole point of Facebook is to share information and socialise with people over the internet. The idea that nominating friends to wear no makeup is a form of peer pressure and can cause low self-esteem is taking the #nomakeupselfie out of context. It was created through social media where having an active profile and high participation is the aim of the game.
What about being pressured into donating money? Well, due to Cancer being such a prevalent disease in the world, there are many charities and organisations that need support as well as money. You can become a stem cell donor in a matter of minutes and potentially save someone’s life from blood cancer if you become a match. The Anthony Nolan stem cell list is completely free to join.
The Anthony Nolan charity does vital research to make stem cell transplants as successful as possible. They have had a big impact on DMU and Leicester as whole. The charity came to DMU last year and set a new record for the single largest recruitment drive held by a University; with 366 people signing up to the register. That is 366 more chances to save a life.
Ollie Tsang, a third year Biomedical Science student, said ‘I chose to post a picture without makeup and donate money to Cancer Research because it is for a good cause, and was quick and easy to do. I know some girls might find it hard not wearing makeup but if they donate and pass the message on so more people donate, then it is well worth doing.’
No one knows how long this craze will last, but it is definitely one of the more generous and worthwhile trends the internet has created. Everyone should be proud of the amount raised for charities in such a short space of time, which they can now invest into the future, making sure everyone has a long and healthy life ahead of them. Makeup or no makeup, male or female, Macmillan or Cancer Research UK; whatever you decide please donate!