If you had any access to the internet over the past couple of days you’ll be well aware of the latest phenomenon that swept across newsfeeds and Twitter all over the UK.
Step 1: Strip yourself of all the comforts of your make-up bag. Wipe off that eye-liner, foundation, and lipstick so you are completely makeup free.
Step 2: Put on your best pout and take a photo on your smartphone (you may want to add a flattering filter to the photo once you realise how different you look - Instagram’s Mayfair or Amaro preferably)
Step 3: Upload your photo to a social media site of your choice.
Step 4: Nominate a multitude of your friends to do the same.
Thousands of girls have been following this simple plan and the #nomakeupselfie is now one of the top trending topics online. The reason of this campaign: spread awareness for cancer research. It was hard however to see how a girl uploading a make-up free selfie shot to show just how beautiful she really is…has any impact on the ongoing fight to cure cancer sufferers everywhere. It seemed to me like a thinly veiled ploy for attention.
I outlined my view, and those of the nay-sayers to Sophie, a self-confessed ‘selfier’. The 23 year old graduate was sipping on her glass of Sauvignon blanc, and tried to convince a cynical me.
“The 'no make-up selfie' trend has worked to help raise money, but yeah to start it may have just been appeared as a like-whoring trend. That’s why I have donated to show that if this trend hadn't happened I would not have given money.”
It was hard to argue with her point, the campaign has raised over £2 million for Cancer Research UK since it exploded. I was still not convinced by these social media campaigns - one of them, in France, in favour of breast cancer research, polluted my newsfeed with the colour of bra my friends were wearing.
“I’m not a mean person, but I simply wouldn't have thought about doing it. I have only donated £2 because I'm broke, but I just wanted to prove that, although many people are saying it's a rubbish campaign, I think it's really effective and it has made me want to help.”
I was stumped. We sat in an awkward silence. I felt slightly guilty: Sophie like thousands of other girls had donated. She looked back at me, a smug grin on a face; “have you donated? Because I have…”
She was right, I could complain all I knew about these no make-up selfies were a cry for attention, but the reality was, it was raising money.
Reporting by Basile Simon
Behind the Story : Sophie was beautiful.
Talking to her for a story would have been a very good excuse - but I must confess she was introduced to me by a friend of friend, that night at the pub in Leicester Square, Central London.
This conversation started like any other, and my friend and I were making fun of these girls who found a new occasion to post selfies all over the place. It's only when Sophie announced that she donated that I realised there was something behind it.
I was skeptical. A lot.
But after all, I donated Dogecoins to send Jamaicans bobsledders to the Olympics in Sochi - so who am I to judge?