James Charles Defends Himself for Doing TikTok #MugshotChallenge

2019 Billboard Music Awards - Red Carpet

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  • James Charles posted pictures of himself taking part in TikTok’s #mugshotchallenge.
  • The highly questionable challenge sees its participants applying makeup to look beaten, 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 said, it’s only natural that the more creative types among us are turning to makeup as a way of (a) keeping entertained and (b) maintaining a sense of normalcy during this weird time. But when a bunch of makeup influencers and TikTok users—including James Charles—purposefully applied makeup to look abused and then posed “mugshot style” (dubbing it the #mugshotchallenge), people were understandably not thrilled.

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

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    Twitter

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    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!

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    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.)

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    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. 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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