Nick Jonas finally participated in the viral TikTok silhouette challenge, but it did not go as his fans may have hoped. Since the singer is the host and musical guest for this weekend's Saturday Night Live, his video took a surprising twist when he switched on the red filter. The silhouette challenge started earlier this year and was initially meant to be part of a body-positive movement, but it has unfortunately taken a dark turn recently.
Jonas' video was clearly in jest though. It starts with him doing looking around the SNL offices. Just as he takes off his tank-top, the screen switches to the red filter, but instead of Jonas dancing, fans were stuck watching cast member Kyle Mooney dance without his shirt on. "Is it just me or is it getting a little hot in here... See you tonight," Jonas wrote. Jonas is hosting and performing tonight, with plans to play his single "Spaceman" live for the first time. The episode kicks off at 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday night on NBC.
View this post on Instagram
The silhouette challenge videos usually start with someone dancing in regular light to a Paul Anka song, before a red filter comes on to show the person's silhouette dancing to "Streets" by Doja Kat. Some users have done the silhouette section in the nude, while others in underwear or bikinis to show off their curves, notes Complex. The trend can be traced to a Jan. 14 TikTok posted by @yoelise and has over 1.9 million views.
The trend started as a feel-good movement, but it has quickly turned dark. There are several YouTube videos explaining how to use editing software and apps to change the contrast and color of the videos to reduce the silhouette effect, reports BuzzFeed. There was even a subreddit showing unfiltered silhouette videos that have since been banned. Twitter accounts showing editing TikToks on request to shame TikTok users were suspended. This all led to one TikTok user, @lostvsnryshots, sharing a warning to women creators to remind them that their videos could be manipulated by others.
Some social media users are calling on Google to remove the videos about editing the silhouette challenge clips. "Obviously not linking, but there are videos all over YouTube offering tutorials for how to 'remove' the red filter for TikTok's Silhouette Challenge, in which women dance nude or partially nude in silhouette," Rolling Stone journalist EJ Dickson tweeted. "This is a huge consent violation and [YouTube] should remove them ASAP." Google and YouTube have not commented on the situation.