Over the last few days, Facebook has become wall-to-wall makeup free selfies. You can’t move for all the bare faces staring out at you.
And I must admit that when it first started gaining traction on Irish Facebook pages, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and thinking how pointless it was. Especially as the first ones I came across were just a photo and an update saying that they were raising awareness for cancer, but no mention of any donation or details about how to do so.
It just didn’t seem particularly helpful, as charities need money, not selfies, and it all seemed about as useful as “liking” a photo to end world hunger.
However, once people started pointing out that fact, the trend had evolved within hours into a selfie accompanied by a screenshot of a text donation receipt, a simple “text PINK to 50300”, or a handy diagram that showed how to check your breasts for anything suspect.
So while the beginning of the movement wasn’t exactly ideal, these developments were something that I could definitely get on board with. According to the Irish Independent, in just 48 hours over €500,000 was raised in Ireland. And over in the UK, £2 million was raised for Cancer Research UK, despite the fact that they didn’t actually start the campaign.
The campaign has had its critics and it’s been argued that the whole notion of women being lauded as brave for going without makeup is problematic. And sure, I can see where they’re coming from, but as long as the people getting involved are donating, then I think it’s all in good fun.
After all, the whole “no makeup” idea is exactly the sort of thing that goes viral and is quite often used to sell magazines. We love seeing celebrities stripped back to their natural state - we’re just so accustomed to only seeing their faces after a team of makeup artists have worked their magic on them.
The selfies have also moved on to guys posting photos of themselves with a full face of slap as a way to get involved. And women who’d rather not post a photo have been sharing their text donation receipts, which is just as good as the charity is still being supported. If you think of all the money that has been raised so far, all out of a campaign that grew organically out of social media, then I’m all for the no makeup and donations movement.
In fact, here's mine:
Did you post a no makeup selfie online? And what do you think of the whole campaign?
To donate €4 to the Irish Cancer Society, text "PINK" to 50300, or pick up a daffodil pin on Daffodil Day, 28th March.
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