Lucy Brown

The Irony of the #dontjudgechallenge

We’re living in the midst of a social media revolution. What used to be a bit of harmless bickering over which of your friends made it onto your MSN name, all whilst savouring a couple of precious hours on the family PC before dinner, has evolved into an army of media-savvy teens creating trend after trend after trend.

From ‘#Cut4Zayn’ to ‘#Gameof72’, this week’s latest craze has to be by far one of the most disconcerting reflections of modern teenagers to date. The ‘#DontJudgeChallenge’ has taken over Twitter and Instagram, with young people from all over the world making short videos of themselves first appearing ‘ugly’ with drawn on spots, glasses and unibrows, before unveiling themselves to actually be very good looking.

http://[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEk5dHQMnPM&w=420&h=315]

Whilst those participating claim that they’re trying to show a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, all it seems to be doing is confirming to those with these supposedly unattractive traits that unless they can scrub them off and become 10/10s at the end of a 5 second video they’re inferior to those who can. It appears to be doing the opposite of putting an end to ‘body-shaming’ and is more than likely reinforcing every insecurity that these apparently imperfect teens have.

‘Don’t Judge’ has received a mixed reaction on social media with some optimistic people truly believing that the videos are going to make others feel less insecure and more beautiful. One girl on Twitter, who’d shared her own transformation video, said, “thank you to everyone who did it you have changed someone’s view,” whilst another completely annihilated the trend by tweeting “doing that challenge is childish and asinine. Grow the hell up.”

This challenge proves to be just another example of the power that teenagers hold thanks to the countless media platforms which exist for them to publish their thoughts and personal lives on. Whilst they’re a force to be reckoned with, let’s just hope that those teens with the features that can’t be wiped away can recognise the trend for the superficial stunt that it really is.

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