Yesterday, I came across a very disturbing trend on Instagram that I couldn’t fathom with. Participants of the #dontjudgechallenge posted videos of themselves with exaggerated “ugly” features to only make a flawless transformation. These features included but definitely not limited to drawn-on unibrow, acne, and prescription glasses. It was meant to bring awareness to body image/body shaming, but I saw it as a form of bullying through mockery and as you can see, I am taking it personally.
I have mentioned before that I was bullied when I was younger for these “ugly” features, and I am still struggling with them. Lets start with the “ugly” unibrow. I had a bushy unibrow growing up. I didn’t think twice about it until people started to point it out. I got the casual “caterpillar” comment. I laughed it off, but that single word did hurt. I still don’t understand why people care so much about how I look when it didn’t have and still has no effect on them. Body shaming got the best of me and I got my eyebrows waxed in my freshman year of high school. I became infatuated with keeping them in shape that I eventually over-plucked them on accident. Needless to say, the ends of my eyebrows are never coming back, thus, I have to draw them on everyday. Sure, my eyebrows are #onpoint or #onfleek when drawn on, but I always run the fear of smearing them with the inevitable and natural sweat. It can be very tiring.
Next comes my #1 enemy: “ugly” acne. Boy, have I talked about you a lot on this blog. I had adolescent acne, and I guess it graduated to adult acne now. This “ugly” feature bothered me the most because the way in which it is being mocked is just cruel. You cannot wash acne off your face like the way you wash dots drawn with markers off your face. The exaggerated drawings fail to highlight the texture and pain of acne (I’m looking at you, cystic acne!). Acne has such a negative stigma that I have been perceived as being “dirty” and “disgusting.” Little did you know, I wash my face twice at one setting and occasionally exfoliate it too. Washing my face is actually an art form as I need to wash off all of the products without irritating the acne. It can be very tiring.
Last, but not least, I wear prescription glasses. No, I do not wear it as a fashion statement. I was prescribed with glasses during my freshman year of high school (Wow, high school kind of sucked.). At first, it was kind of cool: hello new accessory, but it didn’t take long for generic name-calling of “four-eyes” to surface. It definitely did not help my stereotype of being a quiet Asian nerd. I hate the negative connotations that come with wearing glasses so much that I go blind sometimes just to avoid judgment. It can be very tiring.
As a wannabe fashion blogger, I feel obligated to look my best at all times. It can be very tiring. I didn’t know that a “perfect” face was part of the description. I guess it gives me credibility or something. Before taking pictures for any post, I make sure that I have a “full face” on with layers of concealer and foundation that hide the redness and bumps. I also make sure that my eyebrows are done with the infamous pointy ends. Sure, I get positive feedback about my “beauty.” However, no matter how many eye-heart emojis I get, I don’t find the compliments genuine. That is because the face that is being complimented on is not genuine.
Recently, this poor guy fed me compliments and I couldn’t help but rebuttal with negative contradictions. The only thing that was going through my head was that he wouldn’t feel that way if I brought my face wipes and cleaned it all off. (Wow, it took me this post to realize that I am the one who’s judging myself and not him.)
I came across Em Ford’s #youlookdisgusting video (@mypaleskinblog) and was inspired to strip off all of my makeup to do the #dontjudgechallenge the way in which it should have been done.
Here’s to no filters nor PhotoShop!