There’s an old question parents used to ask their teenage children to make a point about being a follower: If everyone was jumping off a bridge, does that mean you would too? The meaning behind it is even more powerful in the digital age, when trends and challenges sweep over social media like wildfire, and in the blink of an eye, everyone you know (or don’t know, but “follow” on social media) is doing the same thing. It can be for a good reason, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Or it can be a self-destructive act that’s disturbing on so many levels. Enter: The #KylieJennerChallenge. Keep reading to learn about this scary phenomenon and why we're very much against it...
The #KylieJennerChallenge is a viral social media trend in which teens suction-cup their lips using a shot glass or other glass, to swell them up to blowfish size—for selfie purposes, and apparently, to either look like or make fun of Kylie Jenner. Only, the effect of the suctioning technique looks the opposite of cute, cool, or like Jenner's actual lips—it looks like plastic surgery gone drastically wrong, or worse, the result of getting punched in the lips. Aside from being self-destructive, it's also downright mean and bullying to a beautiful young woman who has already faced tremendous criticism for her looks.
We imagine this "experiment" would be hurtful and upsetting to Jenner. The pictures that have been posted to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, of teens who have taken “the challenge” (if you can even call it that) are scary and sad. The lips don’t look enviably plump—they look injured, bloody, bruised, and purple. It’s not just “not a good look;” it’s very much a bad look. In fact, several people have gotten severely injured, from the glass breaking over their lips or their lips essentially “busting” from the pressure.
Dr. Dr. Daniel Levy, a dermatologist in Seattle who works with RealSelf, explained just how dangerous using glasses and other devices to enlarge lips really is. “The pressure and swelling can damage lip structure, in addition to bruising or cupping marks and numbness,” he says. “Subjecting the small, delicate lip vessels to this type of unnatural pressure can weaken lip collagen—these children are essentially simulating a temporary aneurysm of the lip vessels.”
The saddest part, in our opinion, is that high-school-aged teens are the very people who naturally have the plump, full lips that adults long for. As dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu just explained to us in our story on why lips thin with age, the very reason most people get lip injections is to get “their 16-year-old lips back.” Teens have so much naturally occurring collagen—why mess with that for a stupid selfie experiment? We hope this stops before another person potentially damages their lip structure, gets hurt, and sabotages their natural beauty in this alarming way. Stop the madness! If you want fuller lips, there are plenty of ways to create them with makeup. Shop a few of our favorite plumping lip balms below, and stay away from the suctioning glasses, please!