Selfies have become more than just an internet trend; they have become a tool for shaping society. The word “selfie” had been introduced into the Oxford Dictionary in 2013. Such a powerful device the #nomakeupselfies campaign has helped the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) raise more than $3.3 million in 48 hours. This campaign consists of women taking selfies without any makeup and posting “text Beat at 70099” to fundraise money, where 80 percent goes to research.
Nobody knows how this trend began. It was not the CRUK who started the campaign but members of the public. Some say this movement was encouraged by the insanely successful selfie taken at the Oscars capturing the faces A-List celebrities Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, and many others. The photo was shared more than 2 million times in the sum of two hours, breaking the record for the most retweeted in the shortest amount of time.
The campaign could have been inspired by Laura Lippman’s no make-up selfie in support of Kim Novak who was excessively ridiculed about her plastic surgery. Not being an organisation creation, #nomakeupselfies demonstrates how citizens have the power to influence large change.
The campaign spread like wildfire throughout the net as people posted their no make-up selfie on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, then nominating a friend to do the same thing. Using pop culture has been deemed useful in as #nomakeupselfies started on a Tuesday and peaked on Thursday. From Thursday to Friday the CRUK had received more than $330,000.
Men have started doing their part by taking selfies of themselves but with make-up instead. It is incredible to behold a campaign consisting of selfies is able to raise $3.3 million for Cancer Research. The formula could prove practical to other research facilities in need of funds because it appeals to young people and allows the average person to contribute. Many people who want to help do not because they are either unaware or simply would not know where to send the money.
Despite the fact #nomakeupselfies has raised $3.3 million contributing to research, this cancer campaign has taken some backlash. A dispute has risen on the internet as to whether uploading pictures of one’s face is ethical due to turning a serious matter of helping people in need into a vanity project. Complainers argue participants are mistaking philanthropy with arrogance because the message of helping others is not in mind when taking photos, but keeping up with the latest craze. It also creates peer pressure to donate money.
Rebutters disagree with this statement, believing the one group who do not care about the motivation, whether it is out of charity or self-interest, are the people who are dying of cancer. All cancer patients care about is getting rid of their disease that is slowly but surely killing them so they can lead normal, healthy lives. If doing a little “attention seeking” with selfies to promote a cancer campaign to raise $3.3 million for research is going to prevent victims from suffering a terrible fate, surely these patients will find it in their hearts to forgive them.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti