UK & World News

  • 21 March 2014, 15:27

No Make-Up Selfies Raise £2m For Cancer Group

Cancer Research has said it is overwhelmed by the amount of money coming into the charity through a viral craze where women post pictures of themselves without make-up.

The 'no make-up selfie' is a growing social media phenomenon which the charity had no involvement in but has so far received well over £2m†from in 48 hours alone.

Carolan Davidge, director of communications at Cancer Research UK, said: "The trend isn't something Cancer Research UK started so it's been fantastic to see so many people getting involved and wanting to use their selfie to raise money for our life-saving research."

Hundreds of thousands of women have been posting pictures of themselves on Twitter and Facebook 'bare faced' or without make-up.

When doing so, they have been pledging to give £3 to charity by texting†a word like "BEAT" or "HELP" to a special number which automatically deducts the cash from their phone bill.

They then nominate four more people by sending tweets or posting messages on Facebook.

Dozens of celebrities are among those who have taken part, including TV presenter Holly Willoughby, former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas and Coronation Street star Kym Marsh.

Other cancer charities have also seen an upsurge in donations.

BBC Children in Need started a similar campaign called 'Bear Face' in 2012 but the origins of this campaign are unknown to the charity.

Fashion and beauty blogger Litsa Yiatros posted, donated and said of the craze: "I think it's a brilliant thing to do as most women wouldn't want to leave the house without make-up, let alone post pictures on the internet for all to see.

"It's exciting because it's out of many girls' comfort zones."

"I think it's so successful because of the nomination side of it - I was nominated by a friend which spurred me on to do it for charity as well."

Nominating people on social media is not new and has been used in online games to devastating effect before.

Deaths have been linked to the 'Neknominate' game, where people post videos of themselves downing alcoholic drinks and then challenging their friends to do the same.

This trend seems to be using the same powerful tool to raise money - and even men are now involved in it.

Many males are either posting pictures of themselves with make-up on or donating to show support.

James Stilwell donated £5 to the campaign and said: "I don't think many men realise how much of a big deal it is for girls to do this so I think it's important that blokes get behind them and support them. Here's to the next million pounds!"

However, some don't think the campaign brings the right message. One mother posted online: "I'm not quite sure what kind of message it sends that not wearing makeup is brave, hard or unusual.

"I have a highly impressionable daughter and it concerns me."

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