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No-makeup selfie trend stirs debate

Michelle Keegan posted her no-makeup selfie online. Photo: Twitter
Michelle Keegan posted her no-makeup selfie online. Photo: Twitter

A new “selfie” campaign that has women posting self-portraits of themselves wearing no makeup has been flooding across social media.

This new social media craze has seen a rising number of women posting pictures of themselves wearing no makeup and then nominating their friends to do the same.

Cancer Research UK, which did not start the campaign, said the #nomakeupselfie trend had resulted in an unprecedented increase in donations.

#nomakeupselfie has lead to donations for cancer research

The spike in donations for cancer research has also been noticed in Canada. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, online donations to the charity have risen by over 240 per cent since no-makeup selfies started.

David Tindall, a UBC associate professor of sociology, recently published an essay regarding activism in relation to social media and says that human social networks have always instigated trends or fads.

“[The Internet] just speeds things up. So instead of taking days or weeks it takes minutes or hours, [for a trend to get rolling],” Tindall said.  “The jury’s still out in some ways, in regards to social media.”

Opposition to campaign

Although the no-makup selfies have spread worldwide, not everyone is aware of the true message behind the campaign.

SFU student Jessica Pridmore, who posted a no makeup selfie on Facebook, said more should be done for breast cancer.

“It’s pretty pointless because not everyone donates before or after they take and post the photo,” Pridmore said.

Langara student Carly Kaiser, who hasn’t taken part in the no-makeup challenge, said the challenge could be a good way to raise breast cancer awareness but posting a selfie isn’t enough.

Writing in The Independent, UK blogger Yomi Adegoke believes that the no-makeup selfie trend is simply “narcissism masked as charity” and that “despite good intentions it’s coming across as smug and self congratulatory.”

“You can’t help but wince at the fact uploading a picture of what you actually look like is now being deemed ‘brave,’ especially when being held up against cancer,” Adegoke said.

“Why not raise genuine awareness through posting admittedly less-sexy cancer stats and symptoms, as opposed to a slightly blurred picture of your best au naturel benevolent pout?”

Reported by Madelyn Forsyth

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