We all have this stereotype of what it means to be “pretty” or “handsome”: Tall, skinny, flawless skin, perfect teeth, etc. Of course not everyone lives up to this expectation.Thankfully, recently there have been more and more people pushing for equal acceptance of all body types by saying “everyone is beautiful”. However, not everyone is willing to move past their stereotypical image of a beautiful person, and this unwillingness has led to a practice referred to as body shaming.
Many teenagers, especially girls, struggle with low self esteem because they’re not “skinny enough”, have too many pimples, or have braces. In order to combat body shaming, a new social media trend was started which is called the Don’t Judge Challenge. People take videos of themselves making a miraculous transformation to beauty. They start off with permanent marker unibrows, fake pimples, poorly done makeup, bad hair, and unattractive teeth. After pretending to put on lotion and covering the camera, they appear to be flawless individuals with perfect features. The girls, as expected, are covered in makeup, and the guys are showing off their abs. Maybe whoever started this trend had good intentions, but the name “Don’t Judge” is ironic as all that anyone is doing is judging the people in these videos.
By showing this miraculous transformation on camera, those who are taking the video give the impression that it is just *that* easy to get rid of acne, crooked teeth, or frizzy hair. By portraying these traits as ugly, they make people who actually have skin blemishes or uncontrollable hair feel like they have something to be ashamed of. Instead of putting an end to the body shaming, those who participate in the Don’t Judge Challenge promote it. These videos are really hurtful to people who struggle with their physical appearance, because they get the message that it’s not okay to be imperfect. If people want to fix their bushy eyebrows or frizzy hair that’s their choice, but they certainly should not be judged based solely on their appearance.
The number of these videos is slowly decreasing, because people have begun to realize what they are promoting by participating in the challenge. Who gets the authority to decide who’s good looking and who isn’t? Nobody. It may be cliché, but everyone is beautiful in their own way. Just as we can’t judge books by their covers, we can’t judge people by their looks. End body shaming now.