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Berginski: Really? Another One of These ‘Challenges’?

By Staff | Apr 24, 2015

The palm of my hand is meeting my face for the first time in I don’t know how long. Why? It would appear that some are trying the latest craze in stupid, pointless challenges.

The Kylie Jenner Challenge, as it’s being called, has taken hold of social media and has been getting press. I guess somewhere in between people declaring presidential bids and Hillary Clinton getting Chipotle someone thought teens trying to get big, pouty lips through artificial, borderline feckless means is newsworthy.

The 17-year-old sister to the Hollywood celebutantes known as the Kardashians has gone on record to state that her pouty, big lips are natural. And yet someone got the idea that a person putting his or her lips into a bottle, jar or shot glass and then sucking until a vacuum is created could produce the same result. One look on the Internet will probably tell you the opposite happened.

Instead of Kardashian-esque lips, challenge participants wound up with lips that were grotesque, bruises around their mouths, popped blood vessels or even their lips changing colors, like blue or purple, and staying that way for hours.

In regards to the challenge, cosmetic surgeon Pordiis Kjartansdottir was quoted in an article on uproxx.com saying, “It is a really dangerous stunt and I’d advise strongly against anybody trying it.” University of Texas at Austin student Alexandra Samuels said in a USA Today op-ed Tuesday that another danger in it lies in participants either being unaware or ignorant of big lips being historically used in racially-charged caricatures of African Americans.

Even Miss Jenner herself tweeted in response to this trend: “I’m not here to try & encourage people/young girls to look like me or to think this is the way they should look I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF & not be afraid to experiment w your look.” When the person whose lips inspired the challenge is basically telling people in so many words, “Don’t do it”, what conclusion can be drawn here?

We’re living in an age of social media, which means that “challenges” resulting in one’s own humiliation, embarrassment or even risk of injury come with the territory. Last year it was the ice bucket challenge, but even that had a purpose, an objective, if you will: to raise money for the ALS Association in their continued fight against amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. But for challenges like that, you had 2013’s “cinnamon challenge”: an utterly pointless challenge in which participants must try to swallow a whole tablespoon of powdered cinnamon.

What is more unfortunate is that the Kylie Jenner Challenge has become the latest in dumb challenges that refuses to be ignored until the next one comes along.

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