The Cancer Behind the ‘No Make-up Selfie’

By now most users of social media will be aware of the ‘no make-up selfie’ trend. The online campaign has seen several women post pictures of themselves wearing no make-up on Twitter or Facebook with the aim of encouraging people to donate to Cancer Research UK. The charity say there has been “a surge in donations” – although the act of posting the selfie is not really related to the cause, it is undoubtedly having the desired effect.

This online trend has had a positive outcome in contrast to the likes of the recent ‘Neknomination’ craze which had no real aim and even resulted in some participants’ deaths. Because of the impact the no make-up trend is having, I do find it difficult to criticise the campaign. However, it really does bring to light some serious issues concerning women, their perception of themselves and others’ perception of them.

When these women post their barefaced selfie, this is for some reason seen as a massive achievement and a huge amount of courage is required for them to reveal to the world what they look like in what is after all their most natural state. They are applauded for doing so, but is this really the deserved response? We should not view it as a big deal when a girl posts a picture of herself looking the way that she looks and it should not be a big deal for her either.

Other than raising money for a good cause, this trend is just a reflection of women’s insecurities. I can only think that the reasons behind these insecurities and confidence issues are related to the impact that media have in forming girls’ perceptions of themselves. They are fighting cancer, but are nourishing their own diseases in the process.




  1. 2 birds wae one stone but int it? Ita destigmatising it and I’ve seen plenty of lassies make it their default picture after a few words of encouragement. S’all good

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