The World Wide Web loves a good (and sometimes a not-so-good) social media challenge. When thousands (or millions) of people unite over one topic, the world seems to stop to listen and/or watch. The latest to take over our feeds is the #DontJudgeChallenge. We're all guilty of judging a book by its cover at one point or another, and many of us could benefit from being a little more open-minded. So this challenge sounds innocent enough, right? Not quite. It involves teens around the world posting videos of themselves getting "ugly," which apparently means drawing acne and unibrows on their faces, donning glasses, messing up their hair, and other "unattractive" traits. Then, they transform into their more "attractive" — i.e., totally made up — selves. Take a look.
While these kids may have good intentions (or, at least, are just doing it for fun), a lot of the Internet isn' lol-ing in return — and with good reason. The very basis of the challenge is supposed to empower teens and confront those who instantly judge others based on their appearance. But instead, it's making fun of and insulting those who do have these "flaws" (a.k.a., most people). It's doing more harm than good. These guys said it best:
Some users have put a new spin on things, posting videos of their makeup-free faces — and saying the challenge would be more effective that way.
Others are embracing their supposed imperfections with the hashtag #BeautyInAllChallenge, which is helping restore all (or most of) our faith in humanity.
Oh Internet, what a backwards relationship we have. But, at the end of the day, all of the individuals in these videos and selfies are beautiful in their own right, and shaming people for their looks (even under the guise of a positive-sounding hashtag) is never okay. We should embrace the ever-expanding idea of beauty, which models and us regular individuals are continuing to redefine.
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