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TikTok Challenges: A Gateway To Our Inner Ratchet?

by Whitney Muhadi
February 12, 2021
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All I see is red! And no, it is not a raging fit and neither are my retinas bloody but my timeline and social feeds are. The chorus to Canadian singer Paul Anka’s 1950’s hit ‘Put Your Head on my Shoulder’ is on an endless loop in my head. 

 

The #silhouettechallenge has been making rounds dropping jaws and clothes in equal measure, thanks to Tiktok and Snapchat. It’s not known who kicked off the whole affair but the challenge hashtag has already amassed over 100 million views on the TikTok platform based on the number of current and new users. The challenge involves posing in a doorway before turning yourself into a sultry black silhouette against a red background. Well, it doesn’t stop there, once the light goes red, the participants show off their best erotic choreography. 

 

Like in most of these trending clips, women tend to take the lead in showing off their skills, and this particular endeavor was no exception. Some went all out wilding with their raunchiest moves such that parental guidance is needed. However, it’s all fun and games until someone ends up in their birthday suit in the presence of someone they did not expect.

 

This hasn’t been the case on Tiktok with all its viral trends. Some family friendlier videos, have been fun to watch and participate in, like ‘Baby come give me something’ where the whole family would line up and show off a move while walking towards the camera, then go for the next member to do the same. In the ‘Footshake’ and ‘Blinding Lights’ #challenges the  same would be applied and so on. 

 

The challenge that started off the year was the ‘Bussit Challenge’. Tiktokers start by dancing along to a sample of rapper Nelly’s ‘Hot In Here’ in regular clothes. After the song gets to the “I think my butt gettin’ big” part players drop down low, signaling a transition to a different cut, that of them dolled up and twerking to American rapper Erica Banks’ “Buss It.” Just like the silhouette challenge majority of the participants were well endowed and curvy women. Many say it’s a way of promoting body positivity, I don’t think so.

 

With more #challenges coming up,the crazier and creative people get while trying to pull off something new. However, these TikToks may seem like an escape for some individuals to express who and what they really are. Society has time and time again proven brutal in judgement of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Popular videos and the latest craze have provided a means of self expression. 

 

These challenges may have benefits to some who take part in them. But let’s be real, not everyone is doing them for fun but for the thirst trap. If you are not bearing the curves, there are high chances your video won’t go viral and vice versa. However, there are several possible outcomes for the clips that go viral. Well, an inbox full of ‘admirers’ or thirsty individuals who would relish the opportunity for a live show is the reward. Depending on your intentions, 15 seconds of fame is usually the outcome until the next entertaining challenge.

 

Some of the fellas did not want to be left out of this challenge though. Unlike their female counterparts, their videos did not rack up the raved reviews but instead backlash poured in numbers. There was no seductive dancing from the guys. All they did was stand and pose bare in the red light. 

 

Take for example the ‘DirtyTextchallenge’. It wasn’t as popular but it involved women sending a steamy sext to their significant others at a public gathering and film their reactions. This would have two possible outcomes: getting completely ignored by your partner or watching them squirm and shift in discomfort trying to hide their boner. The sense of adventure isn’t there if you’re alone together. The further you are across the room from each other the better. Otherwise that isn’t going to get you TikTok famous. 

 

People of all ages use TikTok, and while its community guidelines provide tools for restricting and reporting inappropriate content a lot of suggestive content including the #challenges go undetected. The #silhouettechallenge, for example, is not deemed inappropriate-as much as most participants are nude behind the silhouette-because of the red filter applied. With rumors of software and editing techniques that could remove the red filter, meaning the videos could  reveal much more than one intended it to, making rounds on the interwebs it is a wonder the level of trust people put on these apps is a wonder. But like most observers, I can’t wait for the next dare in motion. 

 

 



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