If you’re spending time on social media platforms then you must be aware of the trending #SilhouetteChallenge. For the past 2 weeks, we have seen many men and women globally take this challenge up and post them on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. For everyone who doesn’t know, the #SilhouetteChallenge was created in order to make people feel empowered and sexy (while maintaining their privacy). However, this challenge has taken a sour turn as people on the internet have found a way to remove the red filter from the videos in order to look at men and women who are scantily clad. Honestly, this is so disturbing and I truly feel that we can do better as a generation. Here’s everything you need to know about the ongoing trend and how it took a dangerous turn.
— e. (@eral__) January 27, 2021
The main idea behind this viral challenge is to make people feel sexy as well as comfortable and empowered. The video starts with you wearing your casual clothes and doing trivial stuff. As soon as the music drops, the video transitions into a red filter which changes your appearance into a silhouette. Since you can only see the outline of the body, people (mostly women) feel comfortable wearing sexy clothes and posing in them. The track used in these videos is a remix of a classic called ‘put your head on my shoulder‘ by Paul Anka. Unfortunately, this challenge has taken a rather disturbing turn as the internet has found a way to remove the red filter from the videos and thereby gawk at things people never meant to expose.
Be careful when you post this challenge online because it’s scarily easy to revert your video back to the original. As a result of minimal clothing, people have successfully managed to remove the red overlay from videos in order to look at bodies without the video maker’s consent. The above picture is an actual screenshot from YouTube! This only proves how easy it is to violate someone else’s privacy online. Honestly, this incident is precisely why we keep talking about having a safe social media space and how it’s not okay to harass people online.
I just think this silhouette-removing filter conversation exposes just how much several men still do not understand consent, and still victim blame (“don’t put your videos on the internet then”) despite years of educative conversations around it.
— Folake (@CiCiheartsyou) January 29, 2021
While social media handles like Reddit and Twitter have already suspended accounts of people who took requests to edit the red filter out, there are still an alarming amount of tutorial videos present on YouTube. I cannot believe we have stooped this shallow! The #SilhouetteChallenge started off with the sole intention to empower people and make them feel comfortable in their own skin. Giving it a horrific turn like this cannot be justified in any way. I strongly feel that we can do better than this! Let’s be more mindful about the steps we are taking and the impact they can have on someone.
In the end, I just want to say one thing, do not use someone’s act of self-empowerment against them. This cycle of continual objectification MUST stop now.
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