ASHLEY FISHER | Evergreen columnist

“Cancer awareness no makeup challenge accepted! #nomakeupselfie #tellmeimpretty”

Recently, Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds have been filled with girls posting pictures of themselves with no makeup on for cancer awareness.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any connection between cancer and girls not wearing makeup. Ironically enough, the girls who posted these types of pictures cannot make the connection either.

Not only are they unaware of where this trend originated from or why they are doing it, but the vast majority of girls cannot explain how this is helping cancer research. This is likely because somewhere along the way girls forgot the campaign is about donating to cancer research. But thanks for the picture of your untouched face.

This seemingly superficial movement actually did result in a spike in cancer research donation at its origins. However, it quickly transformed into a meaningless, self-indulgent campaign that makes girls feel good about contributing to a cause by revealing their natural face to the world.

At its roots, the campaign “started in the U.K. … as a grassroots movement of a young girl who posted in support of women going through the cancer journey,” according to an article by CTV News Atlantic. Soon after, thousands of girls posted their pictures with no makeup on and donated to Cancer Research UK.

After a mere six days of the selfies going viral, an equivalent of more than $13 million was raised for Cancer Research UK, according to an article by The Guardian.

Upon noticing the trend, the charity sent out a tweet saying: “We’re loving your #cancerawareness #nomakeupselfie pics! The campaign isn’t ours but every £ helps #beatcancersooner,” according to an article by The Telegraph.

However, once the trend made its way to the United States, the true message of the campaign was lost along with how it actually works.

Obviously, it’s wonderful the trend resulted in large sums of money being donated to cancer research. Yet there are several aspects about the campaign that have irked members of the public – and rightfully so.

One big problem about the campaign is it does not actually ask for any meaningful contribution or useful action, just a lazy response of lying on your bed and taking a picture of your face to make girls feel good.

Not only is there no way to include men in the campaign, but it also suggested the most valuable response a woman could have to a huge problem like cancer is to take off her makeup, as though this is some exceptionally meaningful sacrifice.

To be clear, it’s not a huge sacrifice, and it cannot be compared to anything as brave as facing the public when you are undergoing cancer treatment.

That’s what taking your makeup off is being compared to.

The connection that is being drawn between natural beauty and cancer treatment has wildly ignorant implications. Apparently, the act of baring one’s face to the public matches the bravery of someone battling cancer.

With these sorts of correlations being implied, I feel compelled to reassure girls with no makeup on that they look fine. But wait- I forgot everyone on Facebook has already told them that. Below the vast majority of no makeup selfies, family members and friends respond with comments such as: “You still look so beautiful!” and “Wow, good for you! You look great!” After seeing this with many other critics, I am inclined to believe that most girls are trying to post the prettiest no-makeup selfies and then enjoy the compliments. All while fighting for a cure, of course.

Although it is important to note the positive contributions that have resulted from this, it’s also disappointing that such a meaningless social networking campaign has been supported in the process.

Next time a charitable campaign comes around calling for support, ask yourself how you can make a meaningful contribution to the cause. If the answer is by taking a picture of your face and following up with self-congratulations, try again.

– Ashley Lynn Fisher is a junior English major from Gig Harbor. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by opinion@dailyevergreen.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.