Stop #DontJudgeChallenge

It’s no secret that when I was a kid I was teased, bullied, and ignored but until last night I forgot one of the worst things. I remembered one of their favourite taunts, they would manipulate their features either using the muscles in their face or by using their hands to try and mimick my appearance. They would take turns to see who could do it the best and they would laugh! Thinking about it now I can clearly see it happening and the feelings it envokes is the same; anger, shame, and hurt. Those were the worst days, the days that I would find a quiet corner and cry or use vulgar language to lash out. These feelings and memories were stirred up again last night flipping through all the images and videos associated with #DontJudgeChallenge.

Based on the articles I found on this “challenge” hashtag seems to have started with good intentions….we all know where that leads…..  The whole movement can be traced back to an amazing woman named Em Ford and her vlog post about how social media can be a bad influence on self esteem and how rotten people can be. You can watch her video here: it’s a powerful message!

I find it fascinating how words and images can invoke memories long forgotten. Don’t get me wrong I get the concept it’s just really inconvenient. When I first started reviewing all the posts associated with this hashtag I those a memories come flooding back that I could have done without that.  I write this in hopes that it will be shared and that all those who participated will think about their actions  it what started as a movement to protest against body shaming has tured in to mocking those with insecurities.  There are many organizations around the world actively trying to help those like me who have a very visible difference, I myself try to be a role model to all young women but “challenges” like this are seriously pissing me off!

The basic idea behind this is amazing and needs to be talked about more. I still aim to see someone with a facial difference in a positive light on a TV show or walking down a runway in a fashion show! We are all different, we are all the same…we are human!  Let’s work together and stop this “challenge” in fact I challenge YOU using the same hashtag let’s post a picture of ourselves, let’s all work hard NOT to judge!

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