The Meaning Behind TikTok’s “Don’t Rush Challenge”

PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAN MCCOY.
Like a lot of us, 20-year-old business student Toluwalase Asolo has been stuck at home since March. Naturally, she took to creating a video with her friends, and then tweeted a clip captioned, “The boredom jumped out.” That was the beginning of the #DontRushChallenge, which showed seven friends changing looks while passing around a makeup brush to the song “Don’t Rush” by Young T and Bugsey. The video blew up, and has gone on to amass more than 2 million views. In it, the women show their natural look, and then use the brush to “transform” into gassed-up going-out looks.
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The women in the well-edited video planned the sequence of handing off the brush and collected the footage for the challenge via WhatsApp. The now famous seven have Congolese, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, and Turks and Caicos Islander origins, and shot their sections of the video in their own dorm rooms while self-quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We understand that in a period like this with nothing to do, a lot of people may slip into depression due to high levels of inactivity and idleness,” Asolo told Teen Vogue. “So we decided to highlight the togetherness in isolation.” 
The intention behind the challenge was to empower and encourage women to embrace their beauty with and without makeup, according to Asolo. They used their love of beauty and serving looks to show that togetherness is possible in a time when we all feel very far apart. And they also used it to celebrate their diversity and pride in themselves. 
Obviously, the video drew in others to join the challenge — to the tune of more than 100,000 on Instagram — and they’ll make you want to get dolled up at home, too.