#DontJudgeChallenge Is Going Viral -- Why You Don't Want Your Kids Involved

teen on phoneIt seems like there's a new online challenge popping up every other week, and the latest one is particularly asinine. Teens all over the country are popularizing the "Don't Judge Challenge," which they claim is aimed at promoting positive body image, but is actually just an exercise in vanity.


The premise for the challenge is pretty simple. Teens use makeup to give themselves stereotypically "ugly" attributes -- unibrows, huge moles, pimples, abnormal facial hair, and stained teeth. They then upload a video to social media using #dontjudgechallenge that depicts them transforming into a glitzy, glamorized version of themselves to show that oh, actually they're really attractive and were just kidding about the acne. Like this one:


The challenge has become a viral Internet sensation, with teens even creating separate social media accounts devoted to showcasing uploads from their friends and people they follow online. They claim they're using the challenge as a means of calling out people who judge others based on appearance, but clearly they're missing the mark a little bit.

It's promising that kids want to hop on the body love train, but reinforcing certain physical attributes as ugly is the wrong way to do it. You're not promoting acceptance if you're still poking fun at things like skin problems or braces that real people have and can't do anything about.

By posting these videos, all teens are doing is reinforcing the idea that certain traits are ugly and that conventional beauty is the ultimate goal. It seems like they're actually trying to show off their own physical attractiveness, rather than do anything to promote acceptance or self-esteem.

More from The Stir: What 1,000 Women Love About Their Bodies (And You Should Too)

The one thing the "Don't Judge Challenge" has going for it is that it's a good conversation starter for parents in the know. We can use it to talk to our kids about beauty standards and self-love and what it means to be accepting of ourselves and others.

Some Internet challenges promote good things and raise awareness for important causes, but this definitely isn't one of them. All this one promotes is a celebration of conventional beauty and the shaming of people who don't fit the bill. It might have started out with good intentions, but now it just needs to disappear.

Do you let your kids participate in online challenges? Would you let them participate in this one?

Image via shutterstock

Read More >