The no make up selfie certainly does more good than harm!

Kim Marsh selfie

Actor Kym Marsh posted her no makeup selfie on Twitter

This week, I’m blogging about the new craze that has seemingly been flooding social media sites among young people: no makeup selfies.

Has your Facebook newsfeed been inundated with the new phenomenon, known as the no makeup selfie? The new social media trend began this week, with many women posting photos of themselves without makeup, using the hashtags #nomakeupselfie #breastcancerawareness and #cancerresearch. People taking part have also been nominating their friends to do the same. Interestingly, this craze is not merely confined to Facebook, infiltrating Twitter and Instagram too.

Celebrities have even joined in, with Happy Mondays singer Rowetta tweeting this photo earlier this week:


Logically, many assumed that Cancer Research UK was responsible for the craze, but the organisation has countered these suggestions, confirming that while it isn’t responsible it ‘welcome[s] anything that raises cancer awareness’ and ‘fully support[s] the no make-up selfie campaign’, posting this on Twitter:



So who exactly is responsible for the trend taking over our timelines and inspiring headlines? And why has it suddenly become popular now?

The answer could lie with a campaign dating from October – which is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month – when Escentual, an online beauty retailer, launched its #DareToBare campaign in order to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care.

The original campaign centred on women getting sponsored to go without makeup for a day, week or even the entire month. Escentual donated £1 for the first thousand women to tweet their makeup free selfie. Celebrities such as The Apprentice’s Luisa Zissman, Made in Chelsea’s Binky Felstead and actor Rozanne Pallett all tweeted make-up free pictures in support of the campaign.

This is a great example of using social media to boost fundraising efforts, jumping on the rise of the selfie to make fundraising more relevant to many people – much like the Selfie Police campaign I wrote about last month, which raises money for Vittana.

Unfortunately, the campaign has received much criticism, with many people questioning the validity of a makeup free selfie and asking whether it truly helps raise money for cancer charities. It has even led to people posting diagrams of how to check breasts on social media sites in opposition.

Even though many people may not be donating money who are taking part, it is undoubtedly increasing people’s awareness of the charity and has evidently started a dialogue on social media about the best ways to help charities.

Surely what matters most is that Breast Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Campaign and Cancer Research UK have been tweeting over the course of this campaign, reporting not only an increased involvement with their supporters but also a notable increase in donations over the past few days.

Not only has this campaign made people think, importantly it has made them delve into their pockets and give money to valuable causes, and this has to be the take home message here. It doesn’t matter if the campaign relates to the cause – take Movember as a prime example – it’s about generating meaningful discussion and raising money, and this campaign ticks both of those boxes.

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