Why is it so important to #FlipYourLips?

Kettlemag, Health, Hannah Parry, FlipYourLips
Written by HannahWrites

So you may or may not have seen a brand new campaign, designed to fight cancer, cropping up on your Instagram and Twitter feeds, and while this isn’t a new idea, it’s definitely one that women, and men, should be taking notice of. 

Cervical cancer is the 12th most common in women in general but is the most common type of cancer to be found in women under 35. Gynecological cancer is shockingly the 3rd most common cancer to affect women in the list. 

However, with these scary statistics, studies show that there are still only one third of women aged 25-29 attending smear tests – despite the NHS offering them for free. 

So why is it that we avoid this so badly? Why are women potentially jeopardising their lives despite seeing the growing cases of the illness in women?


With these statistics in mind, the Red Lippy Project is coinciding with the Cervical Screening Awareness Week and they have created the ‘Flip Your Lips’ campaign. The campaign is designed to get young women on board with cervical cancer screening, and what better way to do this than through our beloved selfies? 

Much like the viral campaign of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Flip Your Lips campaign is relatively simple: all you have to do is snap a photo of your lips in red or pink lipstick and then rotate it, so it’s sitting on it’s side! The photos are then uploaded to any social media website, and captioned with the hashtag #FlipYourLips. It’s really that simple!


Why Bother?

It may sound pretty simple or even pretty stupid to some people. In the past many viral campaigns that set out to raise awareness for particular illnesses have been criticized for being vain and trivial, and they’re often attacked for not being active enough in helping to end the disease. However, viral campaigns are essentially set out in order to raise awareness and to create a buzz and an interest in people that otherwise wouldn’t think about doing anything to raise awareness or check themselves for a potentially life threatening disease.

With cases of cervical and gynaecological cancer in women rising each year, it’s such an important campaign to get women associating beauty with health. The first step is to get women talking about the slightly embarrassing aspects of female health, in the hope that conversations will lead to women taking action.

Whilst smear tests are often thought of as terrifying, and awkward situations, to put youself in, the benefits of having one are undeniable.

With all the adverts and online campaigns it’s so easy to sit at home and think that it will never happen to you, but unfortunately 1 in 2 people in the UK will be at risk of being affected by cancer at some point in their lives. If a simple selfie can help raise awareness and get people being proactive in attending potentially life saving services like the smear test, then I’ll most definitely be getting my camera out.