I hate to add even just one more annoying hashtag to the World Wide Web, but here it goes: it’s the #dontjudgemechallenge and we’re going to talk about it.
When I first heard my fifteen-year-old sister complaining about it, I didn’t understand the concept and I honestly still don’t. Thousands of young men and women across the world are posting videos of themselves going through physical transformations. They first present themselves with false imperfections drawn all over their face such as: sloppy lipstick, uni-brows, and acne. Some other popular characteristics include: missing teeth, ungroomed hair, and facial hair. Apparently, wearing glasses is also considered unattractive. Then with a little facial crème and a tap of the camera, “POOF!” Magically these individuals become flawless specimens that show off a sparkle in their Sephora eyes and a pop in their MAC lips.
Is this “challenge” supposed to spread awareness about body shaming? Or is it promoting it?
Participants in this “challenge” use another hashtag: #loveyourself. How is this relevant when the individual’s true self is never even revealed? The “ugly” and “beautiful” takes in each video both show the apparent and excessive use of makeup. I refuse to believe that viewers, women in particular, will be persuaded to embrace their true selves by watching a bunch of other women pile makeup onto their faces to create an unnatural appearance. More likely than not, this will actually cause more self-loathing because this artificiality is quickly becoming the definition of beauty. It’s unbelievably unfortunate because this image, made popular by the media, is impossible to achieve because it’s impossible to be perfect and to embody everyone’s definition of beauty.
I’m assuming the pre-transformation is supposed to show the individuals at their “worst” and the post-transformation is them at their “best” and the participants are urging the audience not to judge them when they’re at their worst. The imperfections mocked in 99.9% of these videos are the root of millions of people’s insecurities. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was seven and I started getting acne at about age thirteen. Although I would love 20/20 vision and a perfect complexion, I have absolutely no control over it. Even though humans naturally make assumptions about strangers based on appearance, no one should ever be judged for something they cannot change.
Are people forgetting that we are just… people? I will admit that I’ve had my self confidence fueled once in a while with Beyoncé jam sessions but when I post a selfie or when I’m walking down the street I don’t have an “I woke up like ‘dis” mentality. It’s more like an “I was born like ‘dis” attitude. My eyebrows may be on fleek about 0.5% of the time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pose for a picture with my chin high and smile wide – that for me is when I’m looking feeling my absolute best.