Apr 6, 2020

    James Charles Is Being Criticised For His "Triggering And Offensive" Version Of TikTok's "Mugshot Challenge"

    "Violence isn't an aesthetic."

    I think it's safe to say James Charles is no stranger to scandal.

    And James has found himself at the centre of some drama yet again after posting photos of himself wearing a makeup look inspired by TikTok's "Mugshot Challenge".

    The challenge sees people using makeup to create what they think their police mugshots would look like. They often incorporate smudged makeup, tattoos, or tears, but sometimes go so far as to add fake cuts and bruises.

    @yazcaramanli

    what👀 did i🙊 get arrested for?👌🏼👄 ##mugshot ##mugshotchallenge ##fyp lol

    ♬ Boss Bitch - Doja Cat

    However, people weren't too happy with James for posting his version, saying they were "disappointed" in him for "glamorising abuse".

    @jamescharles Ya know whats not cute? Doing up your makeup like this & tiggering alot of people who suffer from ptsd of abuse. This isnt a super cute fuckin trend you and everyone else should be getting behind much less participating in. Completely distasteful. Disappointed but NOT surprised.

    @jamescharles This isn’t cool. Don’t glamorize abuse for likes. #domesticabuse #isntajoke

    @jamescharles imagine thinking being domestically abused is a makeup look.

    Many shared their own experiences of domestic violence, and pointed out that the photos were particularly insensitive in the current climate, when many people are staying home and aren't able to get away from their abusers.

    @jamescharles Hey, this is clever and everything but can we maybe have a trigger warning next time? It wasn't pretty when I was bloodied, bruised and beat by my ex. I'd rather not see somebody glamorising what myself and so many others are traumatised by

    @jamescharles You know I had to have two nose surgeries due to domestic violence. My nose is still crooked. I am reminded of those moments every day. This is not a subject matter to take lightly. You should know better. You need to apologize to everyone. This is triggering and offensive.

    @jamescharles Shame on you. I spent 7 years waking up fearful I would be to loud, not making his breakfast right, laying out the wrong clothing smile the wrong way. Your making light of men and women Locked in with their abuser.... Not ok at all.

    On Monday, the BBC reported that the UK Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls for help since lockdown began.

    "Violence isn't an aesthetic," one person tweeted.

    violence isn’t an aesthetic https://t.co/tl8ca2qNAs

    And it wasn't just on Twitter — James received similar comments after posting the photos on Instagram.

    Instagram / instagram.com

    While he hasn't deleted the posts or issued an apology, James did respond to one user who shared her experience of violence, explaining why he posted it.

    @CharlotteLPovey @jamescharles I don't understand why this would be a trend. I love James but it's not fun having your face bruised and not being able to cover them up. Maybe I'm being too sensitive but this made me feel really uncomfortable because I couldn't take mine off. It made me feel so dehumanized.

    "It's a TikTok trend going around where people post their 'mugshots' and has nothing to do with domestic violence," he wrote. "Love you."

    @brananamuffin92 @CharlotteLPovey hi babe, I’m so sorry that you went through something so awful and traumatic. it’s a tik tok trend going around where people post their “mugshots” and has nothing to do with domestic violence whatsoever. love you

    But people weren't impressed by his explanation, saying the photos were still triggering to people who have experienced violence and calling for him to delete or edit the posts.

    @jamescharles @brananamuffin92 @CharlotteLPovey Sorry but this does not look like a mugshot, you have to know that. There's no visual cue that it is and no caption. You have to at least understand that. You could of done something to make it clear. This just missed the mark personally as an explanation.

    While many others argued the photos are tone deaf regardless, because incarceration isn't a "trend".

    Black and Brown people face disproportionate rates of incarceration, but yts are turning fake mugshot pics into a trend? 🥴 https://t.co/m8RfGL9jqz

    ur telling me a "mugshot" has become a trend. doing makeup to look like you've gotten beat and brutalized by police. yk POC actually get beat by police and taken to precincts for mugshots, half of the time just for being black. when they see us shoulda taught ya smth https://t.co/wmQQ5MvVIt

    You can find help and resources for dealing with domestic violence from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, or from the NHS if you're in the UK.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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