Wednesday, 15 July 2015

#dontjudgechallenge: Bodyshaming in the Name of Equality

Body-shaming is awful, I the we can all agree with that. Any act of solidarity between women which showcases our ability to support each other is great; amazing in fact and should be encouraged. One of the biggest challengers to feminism is in-fighting amongst ourselves and so when the younger generation comes together to prove a point, bring it on! 

This is not what I meant. This new trend involves girls using makeup to "make themselves down" to look conventionally unattractive. The point? To prove that everyone can look ugly and people should make other people feel bad when they're not pretty... Or something. To be honest I can't understand this at all. 
Growing-up, I was never considered one of the pretty girls. Besides the fact that I was a bit dorky and didn't get on with the self-proclaimed "popular girls", I also had the disadvantage of needing extensive dental work, being very tall for my age and the age-old teenage problem of spots before boobs. Makeup was something that I only started trying when I was about 12 and going into secondary school and goodness knows I wasn't very good at it (did someone say blue eyeshadow?) and so the last thing I needed was people pointing out that the things I felt so self conscious about was something that other people had to make an actual effort to achieve. On purpose. Are we to believe that there are girls sitting at their laptops, looking at Facebook and seeing their peers doing this challenge and thinking: "well now I feel better about myself!" when really what they are seeing are the girls who have had their conventionally good looks reinforced by the fact that they have to go through a long process to seem otherwise? 

Look, I'm not saying these girls are bad, not at all. But the new generation of teens are living in an extremely high pressured environment controlled by their presence on social media. When you take a campaign which allows them supposed moral superiority (because it seems like a charitable endeavour) and mix it with social media, you're gonna have a bad time. 

I am more comfortable about myself than ever, I know my strengths and weaknesses and I know that the people who I felt inferior to when I was a teen had their own insecurities and crap to deal with. But this had only come after I finished being a teenager. I dunno if I could handle what some people are going through and I sure as heck know that the #dontjudgechallenge would not have done me any favours.