Royal Holloway University Feminist Society Members Respond to Critics With #UglyGirlsClub Campaign

Last week, members of the Royal Holloway University Feminist Society overheard someone at an event for consent refer to the group as “the ugly girls club.” This remark sparked what has now become a movement on social media filled with silly faced selfies and an underlying message much bigger than the humor behind the pictures implies.

The members of the group found the comment overheard amusing at first as remarks of that nature have been fired off before. The group’s president, Natasha Barrett, says “No one was offended by it. We found it quite funny because it’s what we expected.”

While comments about the appearance of women, whether as compliments or insults, are nothing new and are more often than not part of societal norms. The RHUL Feminist Society took the negative comment in stride and are instead using the words of one person to change women’s issues on a larger scale.

The members causually began sending scrunched up faces with tongues sticking out to each other as a tongue and cheek response to being called ugly. What started as selfies sent among the group with the hastag #uglygirlsclub, now has become a way for women of every size, shape and color around the world to combat the often sexist remarks they so often experience. So far, over 1,000 people have joined in the campaign by way of plastering the their faces in various stages of distortion all over Facebook and Twitter and in turn have reclaimed the word ugly.

Sure, the pictures posted are good for a laugh, but the true intent behind the campaign manages to hedge its way to the forefront of the issue and start conversations where they are needed. The message behind #uglygirlsclub is a simple one and yet one that is so often missed in a society where looks take precedence at times over all else. The message being conveyed is: you shouldn’t be judged by your appearance.

As more selfies were shared among group member bother past and present, the campaign slowly evolved into a movement that would soon be starting conversations and confidence.

The response by way of thousands of likes and many selfies submitted as a sign of solidarity for the feminist group led to a name change. Gone is the old moniker and in with the new, Ugly Girls Group name. Armed with some seriously impressive face contortion skills and a fire to fight for change, the group is just getting started with spreading their message.

Barrett sums up the social media movement by saying, “Our aim is to make a stand against people being judged on appearance rather than their achievements and strong traits. We also wish to make a point against conventional beauty standards and help people find confidence by coming together in solidarity against these very relevant issues.”

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