If you’ve scrolled through Instagram this week (and tbh, who hasn’t in these quarantine times?), then you’ve surely come across the latest viral trend to sweep social media: the mugshot trend.
The mugshot trend is basically a makeup challenge. Originating from TikTok, the challenge went viral after beauty TikTokers got creative with their time in isolation and started designing their “mugshot aesthetic.”
The challenge encourages users to flex their SFX makeup skills, painting bruises, scratches, and blood on their faces as if they just got into a fight and were presumably “arrested.” Snap a sexy, pouty “mugshot” of the finished look and there you have it, the mugshot trend.
Currently, the hashtag #mugshotchallenge has nearly 70 million views on TikTok and hundreds of re-creations.
Over the last week, this trend has slowly crept its way onto Instagram, with some of social media’s biggest stars like Corinna Kopf, James Charles, Daisy Keech, and Chase Hudson jumping on board to share their “mugshot” aesthetic with millions of followers.
And understandably, some fans are upset.
While many recognise that the trend and those participating in it mean no harm, they argue that the timing is tone-deaf considering domestic violence has spiked worldwide during the Coronavirus isolation.
They claim images like these glamourise domestic abuse and can be very triggering, especially without a warning mentioned in the caption or video.
“This isnt a super cute fuckin trend,” @NYCNolita tweeted to James after he posted his mugshot. “Completely distasteful.”
“I feel like people who have been through trauma have a right to say what they think is triggering,” one user wrote in response to popular drama channel, Tea Spill, when she stood up for James.
Domestic abuse survivors have also come forward, explaining why they feel this trend is problematic.
One user explained why seeing these images on social media is triggering for her, saying that she is reminded of the domestic abuse she endured every time she looks in the mirror and it’s not a subject matter to take lightly.
“It wasn’t pretty when I was bloodied, bruised and beat by my ex,” another wrote. “I’d rather not see somebody glamorising what myself and so many others are traumatised by.“
However, others see no problem with this trend and are defending those who have participated.
Some are comparing the trend to watching shows about prison or violence, while others, including some victims themselves, are reminding fans that the trend is based on getting “arrested” and has nothing to do with domestic violence.
Regardless of context, many still believe that glamourising crime of any kind is problematic and not something to make “trendy.”
James Charles and Corinna Kopf have since deleted their photos from both Instagram and Twitter. At the time of publishing, Chase Hudson, Daisy Keech and other influencers still have theirs up.
For domestic abuse help and support, please visit White Ribbon Australia here or call 000 if you are in immediate danger.