FRESH-faced women in Swindon have helped to raise more than £2m for Cancer Research UK after the no-make-up selfie craze went viral on social media.
The campaign asks women to post photographs of themselves wearing no make-up online and with the hashtag #nomakeupselfie.
For Tracey Curnock, a professional hair and makeup artist in Royal Wootton Bassett, taking part in the no-make-up selfie trend seemed counter-intuitive.
She said: “As a hair and make-up artist I encourage people to wear make-up. But I am also a volunteer for Look Good Feel Better, the cancer charity which offers advice and boosts the self-confidence of people dealing with cancer. So I posted my own bare-faced selfie and gave a donation just to help raise awareness of the disease.
“And the trend just went viral.
“It’s fantastic because it just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.”
The trend has received some criticism for having little to do with cancer, but breast cancer patient Vikki Griffin feels that the phenomenon has produced much needed awareness of the condition.
The 39-year-old, who hopes to have her last chemotherapy session next month, said: “I think anything that raises awareness of cancer has to be a good thing.
“I think the no-make-up selfie just shows that everyone is the same. That anyone could be affected by cancer.
“I found a small dent in my left boob and I just put it down to the lighting but I told my husband and he told me to go to the doctor.
“If it hadn’t been for that it could be a lot worse now.”
For some women like Natalie Davison, posing bare-faced or even leaving the house without wearing any make-up can be a challenge, but the bare-faced selfie has also helped women find new confidence in their appearance.
The 21-year-old from Park South said: “I’m a person who won’t leave the house without make up on, so posting a selfie wearing no make-up was a bit of a challenge, but after I saw my friends’ posting online I saw it wasn’t so bad.
“I felt much better after I put it online and feel more confident about not wearing make-up.
“I also think it’s been a great way to raise awareness and money for cancer.”
It is not known for certain how the trend started but since last Tuesday, the charity Cancer Research UK has seen more than 800,000 donations.
Alison Birkett, from the communications team at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s not even a Cancer Research UK campaign.
“I think it started getting a lot of attention because of the keywords people were putting on their posts, which just made it get bigger and bigger.
“People started to do it on Twitter and then it went on to Facebook.
“It’s great to see so many people getting involved to help raise awareness of cancer amongst their friends and family.”
For more information about Cancer Research UK, visit www.cruk.org