James Charles Defends Himself After Participating in TikTok's Controversial #MugshotChallenge

Starr Bowenbank
Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • James Charles posted pictures of himself taking part in TikTok's #mugshotchallenge.

  • The challenge sees its participants applying makeup to look beaten up, and posing mugshot style for the camera.

  • James defended his actions by saying he never meant to trigger anyone.

Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of violence and domestic abuse.

So you've run out of things to do during the social isolation period. Guess what—me too. That being said, it's only natural that the more creative types are turning to fun things like doing makeup as a way of (a) keeping entertained and (b) maintaining a sense of normalcy during this weird time.

Video: A History of James Charles' Scandals (2019)

But when a bunch of makeup influencers and TikTok users—including James Charles—did a challenge consisting of purposefully looking abused and then posing mugshot style (dubbing it the #mugshotchallenge), people were understandably not thrilled.

James Charles posted his take on the trend yesterday to Twitter, but promptly deleted it after receiving backlash for it online. Here are the pictures in question:

Photo credit: Twitter
Photo credit: Twitter

In his defense, James tweeted, "Despite the fact that hundreds of other influencers and artists have done something similar, I deleted the mugshot trend because it was never my intention to trigger anyone & it's a waste of time trying to have an open discussion with people who hate me regardless." PSA: Trends like these are never okay! Even if everyone is doing it!

Photo credit: Twitter

A person in James' comments section made a valid point, and replied, "I don't think it's just you, it's the trend itself that's triggering for many." (True, especially in such a sensitive time as now—the current coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately seen domestic abuse cases rising worldwide.)

Photo credit: Twitter

To this point, James said, "I do understand that but this dumb trend has nothing to do with domestic abuse. what about action movies? halloween? special effects? simple bloody noses? this is nothing new," completely missing the point.

Hopefully someone somewhere can have a proper conversation with James (and all the other influencers who participated) about why this isn't okay that way we can all get a decent apology. Would genuinely love for that to happen, but I will not be holding my breath.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, visit thehotline.org, or text "LOVEIS' to 22522.

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