Once again, another social media campaign that was launched to serve a good purpose has been handled in an awful, wrong way. When Em Ford of MyPaleSkinBlog released a video entitled YOU LOOK DISGUSTING, the original hashtag used was #youlookdisgusting. So it is not clear on how #DontJudgeMeChallenge came to the picture or who started it. All we know was that it came about the same time when Em Ford’s video became viral.
Em Ford has been battling severe acne condition for years but it did not stop her from doing what she does best. I personally admire her honesty and talent which made me follow her. But of course, online bullies will always be around and she was not spared. Ford faced a lot of criticism, nasty comments from people who are just mean, simply because of being truthful and showing the world (social media) her face without makeup.
But the moment she posts her photos with makeup on, such nice words of compliments are received from the online community. It was like flipping the switch and just like that – from bullying to suddenly! admiration.
After a while, the words of admiration was again, overpowered by bullying. It’s a damn-if-you-do,damn-if-you-don’t thing. No matter what you do, these online bullies will always have something to say and they will never let a day pass without making you feel bad.
These are the reasons why Em Ford came up with this online campaign. The video was her way taking a stand against online bullies and also to empower everyone who is battling self-image issues.
If you are an Instagram and Twitter user you can easily search for this hashtag and you will find videos of people acting a sort of before-and-after effect. Their version of BEFORE will be people or a person with fake unibrow, pimples (drawings) on their cheeks, thick lips (again, overdrawn) and some even wearing glasses. Then they will cover the screen with their hand and after they lift up the cover, VOILA!
While the hashtag or the campaign may have started with a purpose, but with these kind of videos posted online, it simply shows how people got lost with the real message behind these words. These are “transformations” are not empowering, rather it highlights the narcissistic nature of people in general. Maybe because selfies are no longer enough? Also I no longer see it as a campaign but a mockery. I mean these people do not even have skin problems to start with?! This is like ALS Bucket Challenge all over again!
Can you still remember when people (non-celebrities) would video themselves doing the ice bucket challenge and then nominate others to do the same. I mean that is fine, but I hope that as everyone did the challenge, all of them donated in the organization as well. Though the whole campaign was a huge success, but let’s admit it, there were those who did the challenge simply because it’s the “in” thing to do that time.
These #DontJudgeChallenge videos leave me shaking my head because majority of the participants are teens and it seems that they do not understand the challenge at all. While some of them are admittedly funny, but after watching a few videos, you will wonder too. You will ask yourself, what the heck is this really for?
I believe that it is important to understand the difference between “just having fun” and “having a purpose.” For example, the #MakeupTransformation was a fun one. It was a challenge where people posted photos doing makeup and the last one will be the photo of the celebrity that they “feel” they have resemblance. I even joined the bandwagon because it was really fun! (did 2 celebrities, one local and one hollywood because yes I am narcissist that way! Lol) But again, it was all for fun.
I believe that campaigns addressing serious social issues like this should be handled cautiously because they are no jokes. This is happening in real life and online bullying have serious consequences and takes a toll to its victims. Same goes with body-shaming. I hope this fad ends soon because the issue is not funny to start with.
Here is the complete video by Em Ford.