No make-up selfies trend on Twitter raises £2m for cancer charities

The actor Kym Marsh is among the many women to have posted pictures of themselves without make-up as the trend took off on social media

Kym Marsh's 'selfie'
Kym Marsh's 'selfie'

A viral social media campaign in which people post pictures of themselves without make-up has raised more than £2m for cancer charities since last Tuesday.

The campaign, which uses the Twitter hashtag #nomakeupselfie, is thought to have started last week when the American novelist Laura Lippman posted a picture of herself on the social networking site without make-up in support of the 81-year-old actor Kim Novak, who was criticised for how she looked at the Oscars ceremony.

Soon, other women followed suit and posted pictures of themselves with no make-up in solidarity with Lippman and Novak.

But then the trend changed tack and people began posting their selfies to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Since Tuesday, thousands of women have posted pictures of themselves on Twitter without make-up, nominating friends and colleagues to do the same while making donations to cancer charities.

Cancer Research UK said it began getting mentions on Twitter earlier this week and, by last Friday, had received more than £2m in donations.

"Thanks to people choosing to donate to us as part of the #nomakeupselfie trend, we’ve been overwhelmed with donations and support in the past 48 hours," said Carolan Davidge, director of communications at CRUK. "We’ve raised more than £2m so far, and #nomakeupselfie is still going strong.

"The trend isn’t something CRUK started, so it’s been fantastic to see so many people getting involved and wanting to use their selfies to raise money for our life-saving research."

Breast Cancer Care said donations through the website JustGiving and by text because of the #nomakeupselfie trend were at £18,000 but rising rapidly.

"We would like to thank everyone who’s donated to us as part of the #nomakeupselfie trend, which will help us provide essential support," said Andy Harris, director of fundraising and marketing at Breast Cancer Care.

By Thursday, men started to get in on the act and began posting selfies in full drag with make-up to raise awareness of male cancer charities.

Prostate Cancer UK said it had benefited from the trend’s latest twist.

"It is fantastic that social networking is being used so positively and we are already seeing money rolling in," said Mark Bishop, director of fundraising at PCUK. "In this case, they’re using humour to raise awareness and funds, but also to get vital conversations going about prostate cancer."

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