By Sonia Shrestha
It can be difficult being a teen these days.
Society sets too many rules and standards which we—I say ‘we’ because like many out there I myself am yet to leave my teenage years—so these standards hold as much relevance to me as it does to any other person of this age group. Beauty standards are one of the most rigid set of unwritten rules laid down upon us, with each one of us expected to follow the norms or else we will be termed as a misfit.
Acne, freckles, smeared lipstick, etc are ‘ugly.’
Too harsh to hear? Yes, reality can sometimes be cruel and insensitive. Clear distinctions are set between what is considered ugly and what beautiful. Body shaming has become a worldwide trend.
Various social apps like Candy Camera and Retrica are available worldwide to make your selfie look perfect—free from anything that is seen as ‘unattractive.’ It is disheartening to see people shaming others and making them feel inferior by tagging them as unattractive.
Social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, have been extremely popular for trending worldwide issues—the latest being something called #DontJudgeChallenge on Instagram and a slightly different and misspelled version on Twitter—#DontJudgeChallange. This was an attempt to spread positivity regarding our bodies.
The challenge went viral on Instagram as well as Twitter.
As a part of this challenge, teens uploaded their transformation videos, filming a not-so-accepted look. The video included teens applying fake eyebrows, messing up their hair, drawing fake acne on their faces and blackening out their teeth. Some even smeared their lipstick.
The challenge was first started as an attempt to squash body shaming. But is that goal really being achieved? By referring to acne prone skin, blemishes, freckles, messy hair, etc. as ugly, how can we try truly eradicate body shaming?
By showing a transformation from an unattractive face to a beautiful reformed one is simply emphasizing the desire for beauty in today’s world. The hashtag (#DontJudgeChallenge) is a powerful one if used correctly, but with such videos it seems like the cause for which it was started is left somewhere behind.
To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what this challenge was all about until I stumbled upon an issue that talked about it. After researching and watching a few videos, I realised I did not find anything in it made me feel of positive; rather what I felt was a group of teenagers who were using this to show how attractive they looked. Not to demean the challenge in any way, I simply want to point out the wrong way in which it is being spread.
I see no point in people trying to cover their face with markers and more such fake stuff to spread positivity. If you are trying to show how beautiful every person is— show it in ways that does not classify looks as ugly and beautiful.
There should be no need to use such measures to prove your point.
Tear my flesh,
Let my scars be forgotten,
Let my marks not trouble you,
Let my redness be ignored,
Let my spots be seen as a part of me,
Only then will you realise how beautiful the soul inside is.
Every single body, every type of skin, every mark, every scar and every freckle is beautiful. I might not be a fan of my body, but I surely do love it, no matter if it is perfect or not.
From a misfit to you all, with love.
Sonia Shrestha is a literature student who is on a journey to know herself, passionate about reading and writing. A quote-aholic (totally addicted to quotes), she loves to find her own meanings in words and loves deep and meaningful conversations. A good book and comfortable surrounding is all she needs.
Editor: Dana Gornall