When hashtags trend worldwide on Twitter, it’s always interesting to look into what people are currently talking about. Twitter has become one of the most popular social media websites and is used for many different things.
Sometimes trending topics on Twitter bring awareness to past events, for example #whereiwas went viral on 9/11, and other times hashtags like the #KylieJennerChallenge go viral for a completely different purpose.
The #KylieJennerChallenge is a challenge focused on the enlargement of one’s lips by sucking all the air out of a small cup or glass which creates pressure and in effect, creates large lips.
This challenge does not serve a larger purpose and has significant health risks.
“I don’t know why people participate in this challenge when they know the possible risks,” junior Sarah Falk said. “I have seen multiple cases of the #KylieJennerChallenge on Twitter where people have split their lips open or ended up with completely bruised lips.”
This trend on Twitter is an encouragement of body modification in order to look like a celebrity who actually just over lines her lips.
“Not only can significant pain, swelling and bruising result from these suction techniques, but there is potential risk for scarring and permanent disfigurement with repeated attempts,” Dendy Engelman, a dermatologic surgeon told Seventeen Magazine.
Twitter can be used as a platform for companies to advertise, people to post daily thoughts or to bring awareness to different issues going on in the world. When the network is used in these ways, I completely support it.
When the focus becomes an encouragement for body hatred and modification through dangerous challenges, the platform is completely taken advantage of.
“If the Kylie Jenner challenge is being performed in order to have larger lips, then I feel that those people should work more on accepting themselves than trying to live up to and look like what is perceived as the perfect look or life,” Director of Health Services Kerri Lauchner said in an email interview.
Jenner, a 17-year-old member of the Jenner-Kardashian family, inspired this beauty trend. Jenner has an estimated net worth of $5 million according to celebritynetworth.com. With this much money and a life in the spotlight comes a team of people paid to maintain her hair, makeup and body.
“I think it points insecurity out to girls so it’s not very good for a healthy body image,” Michelle Miller, senior makeup artist said.
This is why teenagers should not seek to look like this celebrity. I don’t think everyday social media users understand the money that goes into the image of this young woman, which promotes self-hatred when girls in her age group compare themselves to her.
“It’s kind of the same thing as the #icebucketchallege and how much popularity that got. I think it’s the same thing this time around. People think it will be funny, but it affects everybody’s lips differently and usually not in a good way,” Miller said. “The ice bucket challenge was actually for a cause and this is just dumb.”
I think challenges like this, or like the #cinnamonchallenge, show a lot about our generation and how big of an influence social media has on us.
“This just says every celebrity has a huge influence on our generation, and it is kind of sad to me that they use it in this way sometimes,” Miller said.
With such a big impact on society, these networks can be used to achieve amazing things, and I hope in the future the focus is on large-scale global issues, not Jenner’s lips.
Published May 6th, 2015