The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

90° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fake Jenner lips are #dangerous


    Courtesy of @KylieJenner

    In the past couple days, another challenge-oriented fad has surfaced: the Kylie Jenner Challenge. However, unlike its Ice Bucket, Salt and Ice, and Cinnamon Challenge counterparts, this challenge not only inflicts health risks on its participators but also raises the question: Is the #KylieJennerChallenge racist?

    Participants of this challenge insert their lips into a shot glass and suck for anywhere from two to five minutes, causing an air-lock effect. The result is supposedly a significantly larger and plumper pout that is “enhancing” to the look of one’s lips. But does it really enhance them? Dendy Engelman, a dermatological surgeon, told Seventeen magazine, not so much.

    “Not only can significant pain, swelling and bruising result from these suction techniques, but there is potential risk for scarring and permanent disfigurement with repeated attempts,” Engelman said.

    A dermatologist, Dr. Leslie Baumann, told CBS Miami that “[if] you put enough suction on the skin, it actually separates the epidermis from dermis into two different layers,” which ends up resembling a cold sore, or herpes, more than beautiful lips.

    This unintentional result of partaking in the challenge shows when browsing the #KylieJennerChallenge tag on Twitter or Instagram. Twitter users everywhere who took part in the challenge voiced their pain after participating, as well as their regret for attempting to alter their natural lips. Twitter user @SorryChersLate posted photos of their disastrous result on Twitter, debuting their new, extremely swollen and peeling lips.

    They inform other Twitter users to refrain from participating in the challenge, saying, “GUYS I DID THE LIP CHALLENGE THING, PLEASE DO NOT BE STUPID LIKE I WAS AND DO IT.”

    Amy Dixon, a nutritional sciences freshman, said she believes the challenge is not only harmful to people’s bodies, but also their self-esteem.

    “When someone tries to look like Kylie Jenner and sees that they’re failing to look like [her], they probably think, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough to be like Kylie Jenner,’” Dixon said. “It hurts their self-worth — it’s really stupid.”

    Tiffany Le, a pre-business freshman, said she thinks the expectation to look like a celebrity is unrealistic and detrimental to embracing one’s own unique beauty.

    “Kylie Jenner is, like, 100 percent fake,” Le said. “You’re hurting yourself [doing the challenge] —— why would you want to do that? It’s not even you, and you’re hurting yourself. What do you have to gain from looking like Kylie Jenner? … It’s exploiting [participants’] self esteem.”

    By scrolling through the challenge’s hashtag on Twitter, one also spots photos and videos from Twitter’s black community speaking out against the challenge, but in a different way compared to that of the challenge participants.

    @BeeR0cka, a user of Black Twitter, posted selfies of her own full lips and captioned them, “Elle refers to full lips as ‘Kylie-esque,’ But, black women … You know what? Nvm.” 

    User @NnesCorner captioned a photo her own lips, “Don’t forget, these are the features they tried to teach you to hate.”

    Their Tweets refer to how Jenner, a white woman, exploits full lips, a trait of black women that historically has been targeted by racists as a means to uphold their own Eurocentric beauty standards, according to USA Today’s Alexandra Samuels.

    “My problem is that history has mocked the natural features of black people, namely women, for a long time,” Samuels writes. “Dark hair, big butts and big lips were seen as ‘ugly’ and problematic — that is, until a white girl got them and they became trendy. It’s pretty despicable that the qualities I was born with used to be undesirable until Jenner and other white girls came around and made them popular.”

    Samuels thinks the main problem with the challenge is that through participating and even rebuffing the challenge, people ignore the realities that many black women have dealt with in their lives.

    “My biggest in concern is that Kylie is hailed for her big lips and for making them trendy whereas black people have been historically ridiculed for them,” Samuels writes. “For centuries, big lips were deemed an ugly feature on mammies and black women. Now that they’re fashionable, people seem to forget what black women went through.”

    The Kylie Jenner Challenge appears to be another awful social media trend that hurts not only its participants in both physical and psychological ways, but also black women who feel aspects of their appearance are being popularized by white women, despite their mockery from white racists throughout history.


    Follow Brenna Bailey on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search