People are dragging the "offensive" Mugshot Challenge for glamorizing violence
6 April 2020, 17:26 | Updated: 6 April 2020, 17:36
"Violence isn't an aesthetic."
TikTok is the hub of the most creative and controversial challenges on the internet. The dangerous Skull Breaker Challenge hospitalised two teens earlier this year, while the problematic Ghetto Trend or Challenge received widespread backlash last year for perpetuating negative racial stereotypes. Now, the new Mugshot Challenge is the latest TikTok trend receiving widespread criticism.
What is the Mugshot Challenge on TikTok?
Basically, TikTok users are making themselves look like criminals and are taking mugshot-style photos and videos. Some are using makeup to make themselves appear battered and bruised like they have been injured before being arrested. Others are simply smudging their existing makeup and adding fake blood. The subject then takes snaps against a plain background, sometimes holding up a sign, as if it were an actual mugshot.
Not one to miss out on the chance to show off his makeup skills, James Charles hopped on the trend, sharing photos of his seemingly bruised and battered mugshot photos on social media. However, the YouTuber received backlash for taking part in the trend.
People believe the Mugshot Challenge can be triggering for victims of domestic violence. It's also glamourising incarceration when it's a massive problem in the US, especially for people of colour.
y’all b like “mugshot challenge 🤪” but ignore the mass incarceration rates in the us 😐— kim (@coochiechakra) April 5, 2020
You know I had to have two nose surgeries due to domestic violence. My nose is still crooked. I am reminded of those moments every day. This is not a subject matter to take lightly. You should know better. You need to apologize to everyone. This is triggering and offensive.— Carrie Day (@TWiNKS_KS) April 6, 2020
Not how yall are doing this dumb #MugshotChallenge and posting pictures making it seem like you were beaten and thinking it's cute. How does that make sense? Why is this even a challenge? Yall look mad stupid on the tl doing this mess— Kiara⁷𝓰ₒₜ₇⁷⁷ (@damnchimchim) April 6, 2020
Im sorry but this is NOT FUNNY OR CUTE‼️ As a SURVIVOR I WLL NOT ACCEPT THE MOCKING .... The Blaent disrespect of this trend is unacceptable‼️ I have went to bat for you time & time again but this is ENOUGH JAMES‼️ https://t.co/8SBiQtR6OU— Chrissy Glamm 💅🏾 (@ChrissyGlamm) April 6, 2020
People doing the mugshot challenge have obviously never gotten a mugshot AND ITS PISSING ME OFF STFU YOU DUMB PIECES OF SHIT ITS A SHITTY TRAUMATIC DEHUMANIZING PROCESS JUST FUCKING STOP— emmaleeolive (@cherlov88187421) April 6, 2020
Black and Brown people face disproportionate rates of incarceration, but yts are turning fake mugshot pics into a trend? 🥴 https://t.co/m8RfGL9jqz— 🌿Clay & Rain🌿 (@zoexrain) April 6, 2020
white people doing these fake mugshots like 🤨🤨 since when did mass incarnation become cute ?— tw// ugly (@tomthicc) April 5, 2020
James later clarified that he did not mean to trigger any domestic abuse survivors with his photos.
hi babe, I’m so sorry that you went through something so awful and traumatic. it’s a tik tok trend going around where people post their “mugshots” and has nothing to do with domestic violence whatsoever. love you— James Charles (@jamescharles) April 6, 2020
In response to a fan, he tweeted: "Hi babe, I’m so sorry that you went through something so awful and traumatic. it’s a TikTok trend going around where people post their 'mugshots' and has nothing to do with domestic violence whatsoever. Love you."