Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ll have noticed the sudden influx of selfies being uploaded onto social media sites. Specifically, they’re selfies of women – with no makeup on. The craze is to “raise cancer awareness” and I must confess that my first reaction when it came to my attention was “how the hell is posting a picture of yourself without any slap on going to raise awareness? I’m already well aware of cancer, thanks very much!”
I’ll happily admit that I was wrong. Cancer Research UK has reported a huge boost to the donations being made, which is obviously a good thing. People who have dismissed the selfie-posting as nothing more than an ego trip, or, as I did, not the best way to raise awareness, have helped too, by posting links to donate instead, or advice on being familiar with the symptoms of various cancers. Lads are getting involved; I’ve seen a fair few photos of men doing their bit with their best trout pouts on the go. And to those who are whinging about people who are posting screenshots of their donation, saying that people shouldn’t feel the need to shout about giving to charity – you are wrong; if even one person sees that screenshot and is encouraged to donate themselves because of it then it’s had a positive effect.
I eventually plucked up the courage to post one (naturally in very poor lighting, sans flash, I’m not stupid) and I’ve donated £3 by texting BEAT to 70099. £3 may not sound like a lot. But if you think about the amount of photos you’ve seen on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram timelines, and if all of those people have donated too, and factor in that thousands of people are doing the same all over the country, then it all adds up. And, whether you’ve posted a picture or not, it has all stemmed from the #nomakeupselfie fad – I wouldn’t have donated £3 on a random Wednesday night otherwise. It’s nice to see social media’s power in a positive light for once.
A final note – one of the nicest things about it is how bloody lovely everyone looks. Of course, the whole exercise is narcissistic – person posts photo, gets loads of “likes”, Facebook friends comment “OMG you look gawjus hun xxx” in their droves. But you know what? Everyone does look “gawjus hun”. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.