By now you have probably seen it all over your news feed, but hopefully you have not done one yourself—it's the "don't judge me challenge."
Here's how it goes: You start by drawing a uni-brow and acne with a black marker all over your face. Maybe you take it a step further and black out your front teeth (so you look like you are missing teeth) and tangle up your hair in a bird's nest style. Perhaps you throw on some glasses, because you know, glasses make you automatically ugly (not). For the first few seconds of the video you make yourself sad, making sure to throw in that forced triple chin. Next, you make the magic happen by rubbing some mystery lotion on your face and cover your camera for a second. The last step? After washing off the "ugliness" you reveal your true, beautiful self (sexy hair flip and all). Add the hash tags #dontjudgemechallenge #dontjudgeabookbyitscover and post. Like this:
As the likes pour in you feel you did your good deed for the day and got the positive message across—but what are you really saying?
Even though there are over over 120K posts on Instagram alone, the hashtag is trending for all the wrong reasons. Let's break down what's wrong here.
First off, no one looks like the ugly 'before' versions that are so exaggerated and unrealistic. They pretend to be ugly only to then say "Lol, JK, I'm flawless" with the right hair products and makeup—but that isn't the biggest problem I see with this challenge. It isn't even the fact that they're implying wearing glasses makes you ugly, or implying that you're ugly without makeup. The problem is people are judging based only on appearance. The challenge's purpose is to encourage you to not judge a person by their appearance, but that's exactly what is happening. It's incredibly shallow and hypocritical to say, "Don't judge me by the way I look, unless I'm looking good."
There is nothing wrong with doing your makeup and hair—and I'm not saying you shouldn't care about your appearance—what I'm saying is that this challenge should be called out for what it really is. It doesn't promote body confidence, it comes off as simply showcasing vanity. There's nothing wrong with wanting to post a hot 'before' and 'after' selfie, but save it for #transformationtuesday people.
With that said, I don't think it's wrong to judge people. My favorite English teacher once said, "It is impossible not to judge people, but it is possible to judge them fairly." Sometimes it's important to judge people, like friends or a S.O., however, your relationships are going to be rather unhealthy if you base them all off of looks alone. So how do you judge someone fairly? People should be judged based on their actions, character and heart. Are they compassionate? Do they treat people with respect? Do they make you feel good, or do they put you and others down? You have to get to know someone to judge them fairly, and sadly a lot of people posting to the 'don't judge me' challenge aren't getting a meaningful point across.
I am not asking that you don't judge, but instead I challenge you judge on the things that are fair and important. Remember to always treat others the way you would want to be treated, or rather, judge others the way you would want to be judged.