THE BLOG

Five Reasons Why You Are Wrong to Criticise #nomakeupselfie

21/03/2014 11:53 GMT | Updated 21/05/2014 10:59 BST

This morning, pre morning Yorkshire cuppa & in my PJs, I uploaded my bare face to Facebook.

Despite my timeline being peppered with contemptuous comments that everyone who takes part is a lazy 'slacktivist', yes, I jumped on the #nomakeupselfie social media bandwagon.

Why? Several reasons. Call me whatever afterwards if you like, but read first.

1) It is raising actual money for Cancer Research & other charities, lots of it

Over £1 million in just 24 hours, and rising. It's not Cancer Research's campaign, but they were quick to jump on it, with the text donation number virally tagged onto the posts. Well done them. A great fundraising case study.

Yesterday I had a meeting with some Fundraising Managers from the cancer charity Macmillan, who wished they had been quicker to react like Cancer Research. They are still benefitting from increased donations though - I made my 'selfie donation' to Macmillan.

Bone Cancer Research Trust, a small cancer research charity who receive less than 0.2% of the annual donations that Cancer Research do, are using the alternative #badselfieforbonecancer. Fantastic.

2) It doesn't trivialise a serious condition

In that case, why do people wear stupid costumes whilst running charity marathons? Is that 'trivialising' the cause? Comedians making jokes on Comic Relief? Making light of kids dying of preventable diseases in Africa, I assume. If you moan about this, you must therefore criticise every light hearted fundraiser for a serious cause.

3) Yes, people should be 'always giving back', but they don't

We need 'focusing' to give. We all do. If we didn't, charities wouldn't need marketing, events & fundraising teams. We have busy lives, we need reminders. What better way than Facebook & Twitter, which we idly scroll through whilst going about our business?

Evidence suggests that once people start donating, they often continue to participate in more events, get more involved. How easy is it to just upload a pic and send £3 by text? It's a fabulous start.

4) It's not mindless vanity and a quest for validation

Love the irony. A selfie is reminding you to stop looking inwards and think about others.

It is bloody ridiculous to moan about the bags under your eyes with no make up when, actually, some people have no hair or eyelashes because they are having chemotherapy. It's awesome in simplicity.

If you do moan about what you look like, others will call you out on it, for steering from the whole point. Great. More focus.

5) It's leading to some more people volunteering and doing longer term sustainable charitable giving

I've had a surge of people yesterday and overnight emailing & ringing me to volunteer their skills for the charities we help, small and large. Not just cancer charities.

"I keep meaning to contact you about volunteering, and these selfies keep reminding me I need to do my bit. How can I help?"

I'll say no more, but I rest my selfie case. And actually, I might donate a bit more each month, the money I save on make up. Under eye bags suddenly seem unimportant.

And do you know what, selfishly, doing a little bit of good, just a little bit, feels really good. Win, win.

To donate to Macmillan Text Mobile to 70550

To donate to Bone Cancer Research Trust, Text 'BCRT14' followed by '£(donation up to £10)' to 70070

To find out about volunteering your skills, even one off for an hour, click here.