BAFT: The Kylie Jenner Challenge – More than Just Sore Lips

Ah, yes. A day late due to life’s surprises, but the least I can do is give you folks something instead of just leaving you hanging until Deal Steal Sundays.

And yes, I’m going to address the infamous #KylieJennerChallenge. I’m sure the topic itself has been beaten today by the numerous criticisms over people (mainly prepubescent or teenage and yes, occasionally the grown woman) trying to imitate Kylie’s famous puckers using a glass jar or plastic bottle or anything that can serve as a vacuum of sorts, resulting in severely swollen lips (and in one case that I’ve heart, a pair of exploded puckers and another case involving the vagina. Yes, someone decided to use their vagina instead of their lips).

The criticisms all focus on how stupid people are for doing the #KylieJennerChallenge, but people fail to address the fact that it just shows the lengths that people are willing to go through to imitate a celebrity to “feel beautiful.” Now, no one’s ever said that but I used quotations to give it a name to work with.

Rather than criticize people for doing the #KylieJennerChallenge, why don’t we criticize the fact that we’ve created a beauty culture that has encouraged women to take on dangerous methods just to “feel beautiful?”

Kylie Jenner has addressed the challenge named after her, telling people that all she uses is a lip liner and either lip gloss or lipstick (I can’t remember the exact words but I know lip liner was involved) and that she wants people to be themselves instead of trying to imitate her Restylane-filled lips (let’s face it: there is no way in hell that a lip liner and lip stick could pull off that puffed lip look. We’re looking at you, Jessica Simpson!).

That may be true (I doubt Kris Jenner gave birth to Kylie for the sole purpose of raising her to teach people how to be like her… I think), but that hasn’t stopped countless people from trying to get the same lips that you sport every time you step out of your house to feel confident about themselves.

Snippet aside, the Kylie Jenner Challenge is but an inkling of a bigger picture that people try to minimize to one or two (sometimes celebrity-laced) beauty trends – there are countless methods out there being employed by women and girls to embody the “perfect woman / girl body,” be it plastic surgery (Heidi Montag and her oversized plastic boobies) to butt fillers (Brazil is well known for this) to breast augmentation (caused quite a stir when ads for it peppered the NYC Subway system).

Now, I’m not gonna knock off women who have done one or all of the above in the name of beauty. It’s already done and they are adults who are capable of deciding for themselves and, at the very least, I have to respect that. But it doesn’t change the fact that some women and girls feel the need to undergo such procedures in order to feel like they are worthy of being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

No matter how many Facebook shares, Twitter retweets, Instagram pics, or Pinterest pins about self-acceptance we are exposed to, somehow, the #KylieJennerChallenge managed to exist. I doubt it’ll be the last of its kind that we’ll see, but if we’re really going to make self-acceptance happen, we need to start practicing it more. As in trying less to look like a celebrity, taking a look at the mirror, and making note of one thing that you like about yourself each day.

Think you’re up for the #SelfAcceptanceChallenge?

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