Judging the #Dontjudgechallenge

Here’s to hoping this is a time sensitive post circulating around a temporary social media fad.

I spent a lot of time going through social media, attempting to understand the reason behind each craze  and why internet users follow them so passionately, but this recent one is tipping the scale too far.

The “Don’t Judge Challenge” is a trend in which teens post videos of themselves on social media looking “ugly” with braces, glasses, marker drawn unibrow, acnes, and everything that is not considered the social norm before cutting to a footage of the boy or girl dolled-up looking perfect. Often with the #dontjudgeabookbyitscover tag attached, the point of the challenge was meant to be anti-“body-shaming” and spread the message that everyone is beautiful the way they are. But with the “after” shots consisting of guys with 6-packs and girls with a face full of makeup, are the intentions behind this challenge the way it was said to be?

To stop their peers from “judging books by its cover”, teens from all over the internet began their don’t judge challenge with a clip of their “ugly” self. This look was often achieved by marking their face with dots to look like acnes, drawing unibrows, wearing fake braces, filling up their teeth to look like gaps, wearing glasses. This is not only an insult to the people who live with those physical characteristics, but it seems like it is a way to say that people who don’t look the way they actually do or live under society’s definition of “beauty” is ugly. Is this really the message we want to pass a long? Does inner beauty no longer matter to anyone anymore? For all we know, these teens making these videos and following this trend could be condescending, vain, ignorant, arrogant, or selfish, so do we assume they’re good people just from a less than 30 seconds video of the way they look?

In the “after” parts of their don’t judge challenge videos, teens usually provide a tempo change in the background music along with a footage of them looking like models usually with a shirt off for the boys or a full face of Kardashian-esque make-up for the girls. This is almost completely missing the point of showing off your natural beauty and expressing that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

Rather than discouraging people from judging books by its cover, this challenge only seems like a vain attempt for attractive people to show off how attractive they are and make fun of others for not looking like them despite the fact that it’s something they can not change. It not only make me feel ashamed to be a part of this generation and society, it genuinely feels like one of the lowest thing we have ever came up with.

Unibrows are not ugly, braces are not ugly, acnes are not ugly, scars are not ugly, what’s ugly is associating these characteristics with ugliness and pretending that you do not have any flaws. And honestly, if you do the challenge this way, it doesn’t make you look more attractive, rather, it only shows how genuinely ugly your personality is.

This is not being body positive, this is hurting others in an attempt to make yourself look better. Is it worth it to damage other’s confidence in order to gain a few likes, retweets, or heart eye emojis in the comment?

All the love.

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