Across the UK, social media timelines have been bombarded with the #nomakeupselfie hashtag. It has been used almost 15,000 times on Twitter and many thousands more on Facebook as well. So what prompted the unusual trend? Most of the pictures are accompanied by phrases like "cure cancer" and "cancer awareness" but - at least to begin with - they weren't associated with any specific goal or charity. This was not an orchestrated campaign.Video at that last link has a reporter on video supposedly explaining the connection between no makeup and cancer. I've watched it, and I didn't hear an explanation. 3 things I thought of are: 1. No-makeup selfies get attention, and the women are thinking, now that I've got your attention, I'll encourage you to do something good, which is to give to a charity I like, 2. A makeup-free woman is somehow like a cancer patient, perhaps because she looks less vibrant (more sickly?), 3. A makeup-free woman is exposing the stark reality of her physical being which includes the vulnerability of the physical being to diseases such as cancer.
Baffled by the trend, a backlash began in earnest. One confused tweeter posted: "Because not wearing make up is like... having cancer? I hope I'm missing the point here." Another said: "I don't get the #nomakeupselfie for cancer? How does it help? I'd rather donate money towards it that take a picture." Soon bloggers were entering the fray too.
Cancer Research UK says it has had more than 800,000 text donations since Wednesday - raising more than £1 million ($1.6 million).