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The Beauty That Is The #DontRushChallenge

Lerato Kgamanyane joins the #dontrushchallenge. Photo @LERATO_KGAMANYANE

There’s every likelihood that at some point or the other you may have seen one of the videos from the #DontRushChallenge – yes that magical challenge where black women are switching from comfortable to chic with the flick of a makeup brush or, in recent cases, other objects. As with many other internet challenges in recent times, these were borne out of a need to make staying at home less draining – a challenge that young people have to deal with in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, this challenge which started in the United Kingdom as a simple transformational video has gone on to reach more women all over the world who have made videos that look alike based on common interests, profession and all. It has also extended to the menfolk who have transformed their chilled home wear looks to dapper suited looks.

How did this all start?
Well, for Toluwalase Asolo, @lase_asoloo who’s credited for being a co-creator of the challenge, it was just supposed to be some form of activity for her and her friends, who were tired of sitting at home. They had wanted some form of activity that incorporated things they enjoyed doing: dressing up and makeup. After the original video aptly captioned ‘the boredom jumped out’ hit the internet, other women had started tagging their friends to replicate and jump on the trend.

As at the time of writing, Toluwalase’s video had amassed 2 million views within a week on Twitter alone and now, there are tons of videos of women uniting based on common factors: friendship, occupation, nationalities and all getting transformed in seconds with some form of a magic wand.

Within days, this challenge which started as a means to curb the boredom and avoid people slipping into depression due to high levels of inactivity and idleness became a global hit with celebrities and influencers such as Marsai Martin, Storm Reid, Ronke Raji and tons of others.

What does this video mean for black women all over the world?
Initially, what started as a very fun challenge has turned out to be a vehicle for women empowerment and just a celebration of the femininity and the beauty that is black women all over the world. This simple challenge has gone on to showcase the versatility and skill, the individuality of women worldwide and with the tremendous universal response, Toluwalase believes that women are more accepting of what they consider ‘flaws’ as an equal standard of beauty.

In very subtle ways, it has also showcased the beauty that is the black skin and keyed into the ‘black is beautiful’ movement, closely leaving its footprints on challenges like #BrownSkinGirl and #BlackGirlMagic. This challenge has celebrated the pure dark melanin on the skin of these women and urged enthusiastic viewers to bask in the beauty that it is. It has also been able to challenge these women to grow in love with the black skin while defeating the numerous socio-political perceptions and stereotypes of racism.

Black and brown women are indeed showing off their skins and showing out, and the accurate thing to say in these pop culture times is that they indeed ate that.

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