Online trend becomes dangerous


Photo Illustration by Kim Mai

Junior Kim Mai demonstrates the Kylie Jenner challenge with use of a bottle cap.

From the salt and ice challenge to the ALS ice bucket challenge, viral dares are becoming a trend among teenagers and have become annual events.

The “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” is the latest dare that has caught the attention of millions of users on Twitter for the last two weeks under #KylieJennerChallenge.

Countless teens, both boys and girls, have been sharing their videos and photos over social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram in order to receive more popularity online.

Inspired by reality star Kylie Jenner’s plump lips, the challenge involves people sucking air out of items such as shot glasses, water bottles and pills for several minutes while recording a video for posting later online.

After time has passed, the containers are removed, revealing swollen lips to the horror of the participants.

The increase in swelling is caused by high concentrations of blood  in the lips which resulted from prolonged exposure to suction on small containers.

By sucking in the glass, this created a vacuum effect thus causing their lips to swell up.

“I like watching the videos online because they’re really funny, but I also think it’s damaging because I see some of my friends coming to school with purple lips,” junior Casey Nguyen said.

Doctors have warned teenagers not to participate in the challenge. 

According to dermatological surgeon Dendy Engelman during an interview for Seventeen, sucking on shot glasses can cause painful injuries such as bruising, tissue scarring and potentially permanent skin damage. In some cases, shot glasses can shatter under pressure and cause further injuries to the face.

Photos posted on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter show participants of the challenge with fatter lips that resemble botched lip injections.

The unattractive and unsafe results of artificial lip plumping have even prompted previous participants themselves to warn others on social media to avoid taking part in the dumb dare.

Many AHS students have heard about the lip challenge on social media and express their concerns towards the dangerous dare.

“No, I would not do it myself because I do not want to come to school with bruised lips,” junior Nancy Perla said.

Nowadays, the lip challenge highlights the mentality of many teenagers wanting to unrealistically alter their features to look similar to Hollywood celebrities.

It also gives girls the impression that having outrageously full lips is considered more appealing than the normal size. 

The emphasis on having the perfect cosmetic features allows teenagers, especially girls, to stand out and feel attractive amongst their peers. However, this notion comes with serious health consequences that result in social detriments rather than increased beauty.

Moreover, Jenner admitted last Wednesday to using lip fillers to enhance her lip size after weeks of media speculation.

Jenner’s fake lips highlight that high level of influence that celebrities have on teenage  perceptions of beauty.

Some have gone to the extent of criticizing Jenner for giving the impression to young adults that having this feature is appealing.

“I do not think it is Kylie Jenner influencing people, I think it is people seeing a picture of her and wanting to impersonate her for a little while,” senior Chelsea Alfonso said. “It is just people being bored and wanting to get a couple of favorites on Twitter.”

Overall, this challenge is another Internet fad that will eventually fade out as another one comes along.

In the meantime, teens should avoid participating in dangerous lip plumping and just be comfortable in their own skin.