Proud2Bme | #Don’tJudgeChallenge Does Just The Opposite

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#Don’tJudgeChallenge Does Just The Opposite

By Michelle Zaydlin--Social media challenges have become a new way to speak up, stand up, and make a difference. From the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to Proud2BMe’s own #LoveYourRealSelfie challenge, social media is a great way to unite individuals across the world in a common cause.

When millions of people from thousands of cities and hundred of countries unite, it generates a big wave with a strong impact. Social media challenges can force people to stop and think about the world around them to a constructive way, which can lead to positive change. But when these challenges can go wrong they can lead to critique, stereotyping and judgment.

While the #Don’tJudgeChallenge may have had good intentions of embracing one’s self and promoting body positivity, this challenge went very wrong. In this challenge teens around the world post videos of themselves with acne, uni-brows, glasses, and other “unattractive” traits drawn on their faces.

Then they cover up the camera and quickly transform into themselves, beautiful and attractive. While the idea of being yourself and loving yourself for you who are is an important one, this campaign further pushes stereotypes and beauty standards deeming certain traits unattractive.

This has sparked much discussion across social media with individuals fighting these standards of beauty and demonstrating that having these traits, which this campaign deems as “unattractive” are not something to hide. There has been much discussion on twitter, fighting against the beauty norms enforced in the #Don’tJudgeChallenge and urging others to realize that shaming people for having certain characteristics doesn’t promote self love nor body positive.

   

Instead, it makes it harder for people to continue to love themselves for who they are when time and time again they are told that they are unattractive and that their features are ugly. As several twitter users pointed out in the backlash against this campaign, mocking people’s insecurities isn’t funny, it does not promote anything positive, and it continues to enforce society’s unrealistic standards of beauty.

In fact these “flaws” are what make us human, what make us all individuals, and what make us all beautiful. The #BeautyInAllChallenge took this outrage as an opportunity to show the world that imperfection is part of what makes us beautiful and that it makes us all unique. 

Body positivity is not about getting rid of your imperfections, it is not about shaming others for “flaws” they may have and it is not about following society’s standards of beauty. Instead, if it about embracing yourself for who you are and learning to accept all your imperfections, and that’s what body positive social media challenges should promote. 

About this blogger: Michelle is a graduate of the University of Michigan and is currently a first year medical student at the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Her interests include painting, running, being outdoors and being a student of life. She hopes to pursue a career in pediatric psychiatry with a focus on therapy and a speciality in developmental disabilities and eating disorders. She also strives to change the conversation about mental health and create a supportive environment where people can feel free to express themselves, love themselves and feel confident in their own skin. 

Also by Michelle: 

Parents and Eating Disorder Recovery

The Body Hair Project

#LoveYourRealSelfie

Facebook discussion

get help

 

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