A new vain challenge is causing people on Facebook to turn into bellends

It’s the worst one so far

Over the past week a slurry of annoying videos have been cropping up on our news feeds, roping us into a new challenge. They’re vapid, stupid and pretty offensive. This version, by model Jérôme T. M. Kutscher, has over eight million views.

The videos typically start with a depressed looking teen with messed up hair who’s either used makeup or a black pen to cover their face in spots. Sometimes a mono-brow is included but it isn’t essential.

Club music plays in the background as the teen touches their face, a doleful look in their eyes shows they’re unhappy with their appearance. The combination of fake spots and a marker pen mono-brow are clearly causing them distress.

Like any good thriller the plot twists. A look of realisation spreads across the teen’s face. From under the sink, table or whatever the camera has been propped on our protagonist pulls out a tube. They dramatically squirt cream onto their hands before rubbing it on their face. In some videos this part is only a performance, no cream is actually used and sometimes the teen doesn’t even touch their face, they only pretend to rub it.

The suspension of our disbelief is required to truly appreciate the act. With a knowing smirk our protagonist covers the camera with their hand, plunging us into darkness. In the dark we question the fate of our spotty hero. Suddenly, light blinds us before the camera reveals a total bellend.

Jerome before applying the cream

And after, pouting like a bellend

Gone are the spots, the mono-brow, the bucked teeth, the plastic glasses and messy hair. Gone is the sad, dead look in our hero’s eyes. In their place is a seemingly perfect, almost unrecognisable pouting face. The mono-brow has morphed into two separate perfectly groomed eyebrows, that’s right two of them. The disheveled greasy hair has been slicked to perfection, typically swept to one side. The spots have miraculously disappeared, revealing flawless skin. Sometimes make up is used to enhance this, sometimes it’s not.

This wonder cream seems to have a rather strange effect on clothes as well. In some videos guys begin fully clothed but after an application of facial cream their clothes seem to corrode and fall from their bodies. Abs, pecs and biceps are tensed to hernia inducing levels whilst our transformed hero winks and kisses at the camera.

The irony is while posters believe they’re furthering a message of body positivity what they’re actually doing is mocking anyone who actually has spots, wears glasses, has imperfect hair or in some cases wears clothes. Maybe even mono-brows could be sexy if we gave them a chance.

By having an ugly before stage and an attractive after stage, any features in the before stage are perceived as being negative. Picture this for a moment, a teenager with severe facial acne watches video after video of peers pretending to lament the fake spots that cover their face.

In the video getting rid of these blemishes and transforming into a good looking pouting example of self-confidence is as easy as pretending to wipe cream on your face. In reality the teenager afflicted with actual acne is stuck in the ugly before stage, helpless to the barrage of mocking pouts, winks and blown kisses.

If we’re being honest a lot of the people participating in this challenge are hardly ugly, many are in fact quite good looking and they know it. If any one of them had issues with self-confidence they wouldn’t be posting a video screaming “look how fit I am”.

This seems to be the real motivation behind the entire trend. Under the banner of spreading body positivity, the videos are actually just stroking their already inflated egos. The trend enables people to indulge their self-obsession while being showered with likes and shares. In an age where vanity is encouraged with selfies, Instagram, Vines and Facebook fame this trend is just another way these narcissists can shove their gorgeous mugs in our faces.

The source of this social media phenomenon is due to the #dontjudgechallenge. The trend is apparently motivated by spreading a message of ‘body positivity’, the caption in many of the videos tells viewers that you should never “judge a book by its cover”.

In reality the trend is just the most recent in a long line of bullshit challenges that have gained their popularity through social media. Challenges from the past include the Kylie Jenner challenge where people used shot glasses to create a vacuum around their lips, causing them to swell to bee sting proportions. The bizarre but often hilarious act was done in an effort to emulate and mock Kylie Jenner’s recent lip surgery. It’s weird how the reasons behind challenges can range from spreading the message of body positivity and self-confidence to mocking a person’s appearance. Personally I think that’s #hypocritical.

Some Facebook entertainers have capitalized on the movement, encouraging posters to submit their videos to their pages so that they can judge and repost them, spreading the self-indulging movement and gaining themselves more likes, shares and followers in the process.

But the trend has also received criticism on social media. Hidden within the tropes of videos are gems of people speaking out against the ‘challenge’.

One girl has posted a video in which she rips the movement apart for using people less facially endowed than they are.

This highlights the fatal flaw of the entire trend. In a selfie driven world this is a prime example of self-glorifying at the expense of others, showing no consideration to anyone actually suffering from acne or those who can’t make themselves look perfect. Instead we’re stuck with a new trend where vain twats have a new challenge or excuse to post a pouty, winking, mono-brow discriminating video.