In the last couple of days, newsfeeds have been brimming with thousands of photos of bare-faced women, all raising awareness and money for the cancer charity Cancer Research UK.
Astonishingly, this social media trend was not the design of the charity, but appears to be a spontaneous explosion of nationwide online action. The British charity has been overwhelmed at the sudden surge in donations. Over £1 million has been raised for Cancer Research UK in just a few days through the campaign. An “absolutely astounding” amount according to the organisation’s Head of Health Information.
Photos come accompanied with links to donate, hashtags and nominations reminiscent of the “Neknominations” craze that dominated our newsfeeds only last month. While the no makeup campaign is obviously for a good cause and is entirely different from the male-dominated online drinking challenge, sceptics argue that this is just another ego-feeding craze.
Isn’t it just another excuse for a selfie? Well… yes! For some this will come as a welcome excuse to post yet another perfectly-angled, flatteringly-lighted photo for the world to see. However, for some it runs much deeper. Many posts include tributes to loved-ones who suffered with the disease, and the few posts from current cancer patients, reminding us all who the real brave ones are, are really very moving.
Not to be left out, some men are getting into the spirit too. Posting photos of themselves sporting clown-like made-up faces or creating hilariously distorted faces by wrapping them in Sellotape. While some might argue that this is mocking the cause, it does provide an amusing break from the hundreds of pouting female faces.
Whether this latest trend is just another vanity ploy, or whether it is a statement raising awareness for one of the biggest charities in the UK is for anyone to decide. However, with the impressive impact it has had in getting the country talking about cancer and the colossal amount of funds raised, an apt question is posed: does it really matter?