‘No make up’ self­ies to take on breast cancer

Weekend Witness - - News -

#NO­MAKE­UP­SELFIE — that’s the lat­est meme to hit the web but it’s one with a no­tably good cause — breast cancer aware­ness.

Just like other trends on the net, celebri­ties are also join­ing the craze in­volv­ing women around the world post­ing self­ies while wear­ing no make up, and nom­i­nat­ing friends to do the same.

So far the move­ment has raised mil­lions of pounds for a Bri­tish cancer char­ity — de­spite some money ac­ci­den­tally go­ing to the United Na­tions chil­dren’s fund.

Sev­eral celebri­ties in­clud­ing R&B su­per­stars Bey­once and Ri­hanna and Bri­tish model Cara Delev­ingne joined the grass­roots #no­make­up­selfie move­ment on Twit­ter, Face­book and In­sta­gram.

It is un­clear how the hash­tag first started trend­ing, but it took off last week and grew or­gan­i­cally. It then be­came as­so­ci­ated with cancer aware­ness, and users be­gan mak­ing spon­ta­neous do­na­tions.

Fi­nally, the char­ity Cancer Re­search UK set up a text num­ber to make donat­ing eas­ier, and an­nounced on Tues­day that the trend had sparked an “un­prece­dented in­crease” of do­na­tions that raised £8 mil­lion (around R141 mil­lion) in the space of six days.

The char­ity said the money would be spent on clin­i­cal tri­als.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the sup­port people have been show­ing us through the #no­make­up­selfie trend,” said Harpal Ku­mar, the char­ity’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

With the meme mak­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia to raise funds and aware­ness for cancer, St Anne’s Hospi­tal in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg is also do­ing its bit to help raise aware­ness by part­ner­ing with the “Look Good … Feel Bet­ter” or­gan­i­sa­tion to help women un­der­go­ing cancer treat­ment feel bet­ter about them­selves.

Louis Jou­bert, hospi­tal man­ager at St Anne’s, said, “Cancer may sap a woman of her en­ergy, ap­petite and strength but it needn’t take away her self con­fi­dence.

“We know that the side­ef­fects as­so­ci­ated with cancer treat­ments such as chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion can be par­tic­u­larly dis­tress­ing for women who of­ten feel alien­ated and de­spon­dent as a re­sult of their ill­ness. That’s why we de­cided to part­ner with the ‘Look Good … Feel Bet­ter’ pro­gramme to give women who are un­der­go­ing cancer treat­ment the op­por­tu­nity to feel bet­ter about them­selves through beauty work­shops specif­i­cally de­signed to boost their morale and lift their spir­its,” he said.

Sue Auch­in­closs is one such pa­tient who was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer four years ago and has had first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the harsh side­ef­fects as­so­ci­ated with cancer treat­ment.

“Aside from not feel­ing well, I also lost all my hair, in­clud­ing eye­brows and eye­lashes. Wigs and scarves may help you cover up hair loss on the head but you can­not hide the fact that you have no eye­brows or eye­lashes. That is why the pro­gramme is so won­der­ful, be­cause it teaches women how to deal with these side­ef­fects,” she said.

Safire In­sur­ance Com­pany in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg also took their own twist on the selfie meme and turned it into an a chal­lenge to do­nate to­ward Breast Cancer South Africa.

Naomi Hard­man of the com­pany said that it all started when a friend was di­ag­nosed two weeks ago (at the age of 35) with breast cancer.

“We were all re­ally shocked and dis­cussed within our of­fice what we could do to show real sup­port. One of the ac­coun­tants, Clar­isa Smale, then sug­gested since there is a big make­up­less selfie drive hap­pen­ing on Face­book at the mo­ment, it would be top­i­cal and fun to pig­gy­back on this, but as a com­pany,” she said.

They are now chal­leng­ing oth­ers in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to dress in pink, with girls with­out make up and guys with make­up and make do­na­tions.

— Wit­ness Re­porter.

PHOTO: TWIT­TER

Su­per­star mu­si­cian Ri­hanna’s own selfie for the #No­Make UpSelfie trend that hit the web re­cently.

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