So unless you've been living under a virtual social media rock over the past few days, you won't have noticed the influx of #nomakeup selfies that have taken over our timelines. Women everywhere have wiped away their eyebrows and laid bare their panda eyes and blotchy chins for all to see.
At first I'll admit I was sceptical, Tuesday night saw the odd one cropping up amidst pictures of tonight's tea and next doors dog. I took it as another Facebook fad that I didn't quite understand. However the following morning saw my Facebook feed peppered with 'nominations' and fresh-faced women ready to bare all in the name of cancer.
Of course there were still those questioning what this selfie overload was really about and what good it was really doing. Many a status bore something along the lines of "do something practical and get sponsored to help charity" and "these selfies don't achieve anything". True, they don't change the millions affected by cancer and they don't offer up a cure, but what they have done is put cancer, and not just breast cancer, at the forefront of everyones minds. Have you ever really seen this many people drum up support for one good cause in a matter of 48 hours? I haven't. It makes sense, the social media generation are selfie obsessed, barely a day goes by without coming across 1 or 10, so incorporating this into the way we generate charity awareness seems pretty genius to me. It was fun, took less than 5 minutes to do and absolutely everybody could get involved and feel they were doing something.
And they did do something, not only have these selfies got people talking about cancer, with people far and wide sharing their own cancer journeys, but they got the donation ball rolling. Despite the opinions of the cynics, nearly every other selfie I saw incorporated a screenshot of their BEAT texts to 70007. There’s no doubt that it’s pretty amazing but I personally don't think a bare faced selfie demands an immediate donation for it to be justified. But what I do feel is that it should inspire us to tip 50p into that charity bucket next time we walk past or encourage us to go out and buy a Marie Curie daffodil over the next few weeks. If this is what happens then the job of the selfie has been done.
Aside from the amazing support drummed up for cancer, I also watched in awe as I saw the whole female community get together and actually support one another. All too often we are told to see each another as mere rivals; women forget to back one another up. However the influx of bare faced selfies yesterday saw women actively encouraging those around them to get involved. There were women reminding other women that they were beautiful and for the first time I didn’t feel like I was going to be judged for uploading a selfie (which I sometimes feel happens even when I am wearing makeup). It was refreshing and there was a complete sense of ‘togetherness’ in the way people were embracing this challenge. Not only this, but as we are well aware, women everywhere are constantly fed those images of ‘perfection’, but yesterday made me realise that I am in fact normal. It was a relief to know that we all have those dark circles, spotty T-zones and not-so perfect pearly whites and for once women everywhere were welcoming them.
Social media is a wonderful thing and yesterday it really proved its worth. Reports have said that £15,000 was donated off the back of our beloved selfies and I for one am proud to have taken part.