Mugshot Challenge: TikTok Trend Generates Controversy

James Charles

TikTok James Charles' Mugshot Challenge

A new TikTok challenge has gained steam on the social media platform, but this viral trend has been met with a lot of criticism and controversy. From highly-followed social media influencers to the average TikTok user, thousands have participated in the Mugshot Challenge.

The Mugshot Challenge is the new trend on TikTok that has users take their own police-style mugshot, often using makeup to simulate bruises or blood.

Here’s what you need to know about the Mugshot Challenge:

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1. The Mugshot Challenge on TikTok Has Individuals Dressing Up and Putting on Makeup to Take a  Mugshot-Style Picture

The Mugshot Challenge is the latest trend on TikTok that has users creating their own mugshots. Some users have gone to the extreme for this makeup challenge, staging their own mugshot portraits of themselves looking rough with messy hair and smudged makeup, along with fake bloody noses, cuts and black eyes.

Participants have also used accessories like stick-on tattoos and ripped clothing to really sell the mugshot look. There have been thousands of users partaking in the Mugshot Challenge, including some notable social media influencers.

2. Social Media Influencers Joined in the Trending Mugshot Challenge

A few well-known social media users joined in to show off their own police-style mugshot. One beauty influencer, James Charles, shared his mugshot on social media. The picture of 20-year-old Charles, shown at the top of this article, features the creator shirtless with two black eyes and a bloody nose.

Another YouTuber, Corinna Kopf, shot her own mugshot in which she sported a bloody nose and well-known beauty vlogger Abby Roberts posted her own version with a bloody nose and smeared mascara.

However, the mugshot photos were not received in the way that these creators hoped, with them receiving major backlash.

3. Some Creators, Including Social Media Influencers, Have Been Met With Criticism for Their Mugshots

Charles received backlash by many for being “irresponsible” and making light of domestic violence. One Twitter user said, “You know I had to have two nose surgeries due to domestic violence. My nose is still crooked. I am reminded of those moments every day. This is not a subject matter to take lightly. You should know better. You need to apologize to everyone. This is triggering and offensive.”

Another user commented, “I don’t understand why this would be a trend. I love James but it’s not fun having your face bruised and not being able to cover them up. Maybe I’m being too sensitive but this made me feel really uncomfortable because I couldn’t take mine off. It made me feel so dehumanized.”

Charles did answer this user, saying, “Hi babe, I’m so sorry that you went through something so awful and traumatic. It’s a TikTok trend going around where people post their ‘mugshots’ and has nothing to do with domestic violence whatsoever. Love you.”

4. Some Creators Have Chosen to Delete Their Mugshots After the Viral Trend Started Receiving Backlash

Because the trend has received such backlash by many social media users, quite a few creators have deleted their posts. Among those deleting the mugshots are Charles and Kopf.

Some users took to Twitter to voice their opinion about the challenge, with one tweeting, “Mugshot Challenge is corny. who would want to promote that?? going to jail, having a mugshot taken isn’t a joke but go off.”

Another individual said, “This is so f**king disrespectful to marginalized people who are incarcerated at a high rate as brutalised for absolutely no reason. They don’t get to make a cute aesthetic and a trend out of something they deal with on the daily. Selling controversy isn’t cute.”

5. Collectively, Mugshot Challenge Posts Have Gotten Almost 150 Million Views on TikTok

As of April 6, the hashtag mugshot has 142 million views on TikTok. A lot of creators have gone all out for their very own mugshots.

Here’s a mugshot by a TikTok user, didluck, that has over 64,000 likes and 700 comments:

This next user, Kayla Taylor, showed off her makeup strategy for her mugshot. Her video has over 30,000 likes.

Here’s another mugshot challenge video courtesy of a TikTok user named Zoey Westyy. She is seen wearing an orange hoody with mascara running down her face and a bloody lip. Her video has over 42,000 likes and 330 comments.


say hey to your newest orange is the new black character #presentationnight #fyp #mugshot #makeup

♬ We Will Rock You – why mona

This mugshot is done by TikTok user uk.idk.uh. His video shows four different mugshots — it’s gotten over 4,000 likes and 100 comments.

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