The yellow lady wore a pink robe, A charming smile on her face. She turned slowly as if walking on springs and pushed the door into the room. Her robe slid off and almost that second, the room was flooded in pink lights. She began to dance, twist and curl her body as she was reduced into a shadow in the streams of pink……….
When i first heard of the #silhouette challenge from my friend i was puzzled. The neighbourhood was filled with the talk. Excitement came into chats and posts on groups that i was a member of once it had something to do with the challenge. I was so lost in the haze of curiousity that i suscribed quickly to a data plan and searched the meaning of the challenge on the Google search engine. To be candid, when the search result came, i was surprised and immediately decided that it was all an animation. I called my sister ( my younger sister) to join me on the bed and i pressed the link , and bam! We came into twitter where i saw the video. When the lady had her robe on , i wasn’t scared of mind poisoning of my self and gentle sister , until the robes slid off and my supposed simple animation turned into a display of the bare body in streams of pink . i quickly told her to leave and i left the platform immediately.
My most concern all my life is to protect my self and my sister from poisoning posts and videos on social media and the television. Though our parents are still alive, there are somethings that we cannot discuss at times without hearing : take your mind from it! But as the times goes on , my curiousity is heightened , at it is very climax, i dive into it. I decided to study the challenge and see peoples reactions — particularly Nigerians– on the challenge before evaluating and deciding my opinion on the latest trend and at the end discuss it with my sister.
The silhouette challenge had existed on the Tik Tok ( a social media platform) , for quite sometimes before it was spread to other social media platforms which includes twitter, instagram and other social media platforms. The first person to initiate the challenge wasn’t disclosed, but claims were made that the reason for challenge is creativity and fun , but on a closer look it is not. The challenge entails dancing unclad or semi clad to music , though the body is turned into a shadow , the body parts are seen. Tik Tok as a social media , just like it’s close resemblance — Likee is a base for various challenges itself. I myself personally , i had seen creative challenges about bottle opening , acrobats and skeets but the latest trend — silhouette– is a no no no.
On Nigeria as country, socialmedia , upon my discovery has come to stay as a way of turning the world into a global community of connectivity. Nigeria as a country of a great number of savvy individuals in this global community where almost anything is available , have proved beyond any measures that thay are very artful in the use of the social media.
After the trend (silhouette challenge) got to twitter , instagrams , many Nigerians jumped on board. Their were various tweets and retweets as various Nigerian celebrities joined the challenge. The trend as a thing as revealed and comfirmed that : what ever issue, either good or bad would always have the support and approval of someone. While i was reading tweets on twitter, i have seen people tweet that they are in full support of the trend since it is just fun videos and they urged the participants on to do it. On the other hand the celebrities and other people that had participated in the challenge recieved back lashes on their decision to join the display of nudity in guise of a challenge.
I was in lost in my thought about the challenge. What would make people join this challenge despite it’s lack of moral backbone? What gave them the excitement to join? Was it mere excitement? quest for fun ? or what ?
My answer to these troubling questions is ignorance. The reason i came to this point is, if the individuals who had joined and are preparing to join the latest malady are aware of the ugly effects that hides behind the veil of the ecstasy and excitement derived from participating in the challenge they won’t jump into it. Before i proceed into the effects of the challenge, we should bring into consciousness what roles the mind plays in it.
The mind as a place where most of the issues of life proceeds is a gem that should be protected . we should be careful of what is fed into us through what we see, what we ear and we touch. It has been proven that we become what we fed to our mind. Those who participate can be said to have been feeding their mind with misadventure about sexual activities like musics, videos and posts and as the time goes on they take things like that as normal.
Back to the effects of the challenge on the participants. As i early said, only those who have fed their minds with illicit sexual activity would join such a challenge . one of the reasons these individuals join the challenge i think is : quest for imitation. The need to catch fun and leave life swimming with the tide of western popular culture( pop culture) can be seen as a pit fall during imitation. Here in Nigeria, we are people of virtue , culture and religion. In the various ethnic groups of the country, in their society, religion and culture is a frame they lean on. The religion and the culture which includes morals shape the way we think behave and react to issues. Through the wave of western pop culture and it’s various medias , the frame the society leans on is breaking gradually . we have begun to take things that years ago can’t be said to be a joke. Individuals that participate in the #silhouette challenge in their quest to imitate , forget that in search for fun, they are offerring their dignity in exchange for a few minutes of excitement. On the second day i browsed the challenge, i came upon a youtube tutorial teaching people on how to remove the pink or red light used in the making of the silhouette . The end result would be : the unclad body of the participant would be seen and no longer the planned shadow of the silhouette! With the medium of removing the background colour you can see how vulnerable the participants are.
Another effect of participating is, depression. After taking such videos it is likely that the individual becomes depressed. The stigma that comes with the ladies’ parent finding out, relatives and most importantly fulture referrals and recomemdators dots the high way into a depressing clowd. Even the latest discovery of removing the background colour is another straight way into depression. Come to think if such video goes viral.
In addition, the effect the of these social media challenge on the youlth in general is a feild of study on it’s own. My opine is : if the youlth of this generation keep on supporting challenges like #silhouette challenge and sexuality becomes the latest normal what would be the fulture of moral standards that keep social vices away? The answer i get is quite obvious and this generation can be in danger if neccessary measures are not put in place.
In conclusion, after taking in all i have discussed, i tried to find a solution before presenting what the challenge is to my sister who kept asking me what silhouette is about .
What i came of with is simple : respect for one’s self and esteem is a sheild against stray excitement that can leave ugly marks on one’s life. Just like Reverend Deborah l Johnson said in her quote :
“ my body is a temple . i treat it with dignity and respect , honouring it for the holy place it is “
In the same vein the holy scripture tells us that our body is the temple of the lord and it shouldn’t be polluted. We should always carry and feed our mind with things that have pure religion and moral backbone because we become what we see, what we hear , even on the screen or elsewhere , what we take in forms our mind and at the end our actions.
Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org