'No Make-Up Selfie' For Breast Cancer Viral in New Zealand; Criticized For Painting Women as 'Weak'

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By Reissa Su | March 25, 2014 6:10 PM EST

The "no make-up selfie" breast awareness campaign in UK was being criticized by several feminists. The #nomakeupselfie became viral as the latest selfie trend has arrived in New Zealand a few days ago with female Kiwis posting photos of themselves without make-up on.


Pink balloons are displayed in front of an artificial waterfall during the "Pink Ribbon" breast cancer awareness campaign at Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul October 5, 2011. (Reuters)

The aim of the "no make-up selfie" is to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  The campaign has already raised more than $3 million in Britain. The viral breast cancer campaign has raised $25,000 in New Zealand.

Despite deluge of the "no make-up selfies" on social media, National Council of Women in New Zealand Pres. Julie Fairey is concerned that the selfie campaign will only reinforce sexism and lower the value of women.

Fairey said women who participate in the campaign may be perceived as weaker without make-up. She added the breast cancer awareness campaign may be encouraging ideas that women become more vulnerable without their make-up on. 

She added the campaign has an element of gender bias and "that's not great." According to her, organizations can find other ways to spread awareness and raise funds.

The selfie breast cancer awareness campaign is unknown but Cancer Research UK picked up on the idea and posted a photo online with some to encourage people to text to donate 3 pounds.

From then on, thousands of people began to post selfies in line with the campaign. Social Media Manager Aaron Eccles of Cancer Research UK said the positive effects of breast cancer awareness campaign outweigh the negative feedback.

He added it will be raised from this campaign what will be used in breast cancer research to help develop treatments for patients. For Mr Eccles, the social media campaign is a "massive positive thing."

But New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation Spokesman Adele Gautier does not see anything wrong with the women posting selfies. She said the negative criticism has no basis and most people who participate in the campaign are doing it for the campaign's underlying message.

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Pink balloons are displayed in front of an artificial waterfall during the "Pink Ribbon" breast cancer awareness campaign at Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul October 5, 2011. (Reuters)
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