Several weeks ago, a trend started to emerge on the Internet, and in particular on TikTok : the mugshot challenge.
Picked up by several personalities known as the influencer James Charles, this challenge is for controversy because it is seen as problematic in many aspects.
Let’s get back together on this phenomenon that I find quite interesting !
What is the mugshot challenge ?
In order to give you the page, the mugshot challenge is a trend viral, which is to produce content (photos or video TikTok, for example), giving the impression that it is a mugshot (aka photo of police custody).
According to the media Mashablethe initial trend launched by users of TikTok was to share mugshots they liked in the video.
@camwoohooopart 3!!!! last girl looks like she knows how to have a gooooood time ##greenscreen ##shykids ##diyproject ##mugshot ##fyp♬ Really Really – Kevin Gates
Subsequently, the users are set to gradually reproduce the mugshots themselves.
Often masked to mimic a black eye, a bloodied noses, or the mascara which would have flowed for several hours, persons who participate in the mugshot challenge set the stage to take on the appearance of the inmates.
“Is it weird that I like this look ? “
@nehvjonesI was voted most likely to get 🅰️rested by my year 🤷♀️ ##mugshawtys ##mugshotshawty ##mugshotchallenge ##irish ##fyp♬ follow me – crystalmoon35
@iamurmhysaWell that’s you coco bails, I love that challenge is successful ? ##fyp ##mugshotchallenge #pourtoi ##foryoupage♬ noen abby and sarah used this sound and im crying – .gacha._.cartoons
Some add even a garment to orange to make reference to the uniform of american inmates found in all series.
@hopieschlenkerGot caught stealin hearts I guess ##mugshotchallenge♬ Deep End, Freestyle – Sleepy Hallow
However, if this challenge has been a success around the world, it is also very controversial and uncomfortable, a good number of people… of which I am a part, I must admit.
Why is this challenge of controversy
This poses a problem for many people is to see to what point the violence and incarceration are glamourisées in the videos and photos of the mugshot challenge.
If people start to imitate prisoners in this way, it is becausethey seem to find an aesthetic form, a side ” cool and sexy “.
By typing #hotmugshot in the search bar of Twitter, you fall on a whole bunch of tweets that demonstrate this sort of fantasy generated by the photos of inmates.
— Gene “Bean” Baxter 🇬🇧 (@clydetombaugh) May 28, 2016
The last #HotMugshot is this woman from Arkansas. If I was his lawyer I would stop never to try and do to relax/to make it take off. (” get her off ” can have both meanings in English)
Jeremy Meeks, a former prisoner whose mugshot became viral, has subsequently secured a contract of modeling with her beautiful mouth, and it even has parade at Fashion Week in New York in 2017.
The image of the ” taulard sexy “, well anchored in the company, seems to have beautiful days in front of it, even as it obscures the gravity of the imprisonment and the violence that is linked to it.
In addition, the mugshot challenge completely fall by the wayside the social injustices suffered by minoritieswhether they are black, latino or poor, who are arrested and incarcerated so excessive in relation to the white people.
If Jeremy Meeks has managed to get away thanks to its physical, many are not that fortunate and are victims of their ethnic background or their social environment of origin.
Gold, surfers who participate in this challenge are, for the vast majority of them are white and privilegedas is the case of James Charles who has erased his mugshot challenge Twitter after having received many criticisms for this reason.
So far, the influencer re-posted on TikTok, accompanied by a description very passive-aggressive, which seems to show that he has not really understood where was the problem…
@jamescharleshopefully tik tok doesn’t cancel me for the ##mugshot the trend, like the people on twitter did 😶♬ noen abby and sarah used this sound and im crying – .gacha._.cartoons
“With a little luck, I’m not going to make me cancel by TikTok for this challenge as it has been the case on Twitter “
The problem, James, is that glamourisant incarceration as you do by participating in this challenge, you minimises completely the realities that exist all around, as if being a prisoner was limited to looking cool in a photo badass.
Glamouriser the violence and the evil-being, a constant on the Internet ?
If this challenge makes me deeply uncomfortable, I find it quite amazing that he does react more than some of the other trends in more or less explicit that emerge regularly on the Internet.
I was in high school at a time when it was cool to be on Tumblr, and yet I’ve always been very disturbed by the aesthetics of the contents which were : anorexia unmarked, scarification esthétisées, glorification of the depression…
All coming from people who are often little affected by physical and mental disorders.
I remember friends of me, which tweetaient regularly things like ” shitty day, it leaves Xanax lol “, as if it was cool to take anxiolytics.
Not being particularly concerned, I’ve always had trouble understanding what the ill-being or disease could be as much idealized, in what to do its blue and its mutilation in the photo was aesthetic.
I do know, however, that it may have a role cathartic for some people… but also be dangerous for others who will face this content “glamourisant” of the suffering.
Finally, in the case of the mugshot challengethe question is not the same because the people are not actually injured, or actually incarcerated. This is ” the style “, and I find it hard to understand how have the air of being stop by the cops is stylish.
It is much more problematic according to me when this glamourisation of violence and the suffering of influencers known worldwide that play an important role among the younger generations (especially on TikTok which the population is particularly young).
But in a sense, to see to what extent this challenge has a reaction, relative to the trivialization total of what was happening on Tumblr, 10 years ago, gives me hope.
What was acceptable in 2010 is more in 2020, and as evidenced by the controversy around James Charles, those who have difficulty in understanding it, suffer the consequences.
To read also : What is the ” pancake cereal “, this recipe trend that we see everywhere ?