08.11.14 6:39 PM ET
The Ice Bucket Challenge: Celebrities Promote ALS Awareness, Washboard Abs
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a scary neurodegenerative disease that can result in rapidly progressive weakness and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fun, sexy way to promote ALS awareness while also promoting awareness of the washboard abs you've been working on all summer. The challenge is simple: you can choose to either dump a bucket of ice water on yourself on camera, or make a donation to the ALS charity of your choice. Everyone who accepts must publish their video on social media and challenge three of their friends to complete the challenge.
The challenge is a win-win-win: charities are making money, teenagers are getting to show off their summer homes, and beach coolers are being seen as more than just Smirnoff Ice containers. It’s the perfect summertime activity for anyone who dreams of simultaneously participating in a wet t-shirt contest, raising awareness for an important cause, and confusing their parents!
Combine Generation Z's insatiable craving for likes and Internet approbation with the fast paced stakes of the challenge, which must be completed within 24 hours, and you've got a viral sensation. The true challenge this summer is finding one Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook newsfeed that isn't riddled with these videos. Lou Gehrig's disease hasn't been this hot since, well, Lou Gehrig.
From Jesse Eisenberg in a hoodie to Zach Braff's Kickstarter, celebrities are all about social media. So it's no surprise that a number of stars have taken on the #IceBucketChallenge to prove that they #TotallyGet the #16-24 #KeyDemographicGroup.
It's hard to say whether this shaky, single camera footage of a naked adolescent torso is an #IceBucketChallenge video or an outtake from Palo Alto. Teen heartthrob and all around good-looking boy Ansel Elgort took a break from telling everyone how much “cancer sucks” to raise ALS awareness, and challenged his friend and noted cute boy Nat Wolff to follow suit. We know this video is just 51 seconds long, but with its focus on Ansel Elgort's face, hair, pecs, and abs, it has all the makings of a YA blockbuster.
Between her down to earth Twitter, cutesy blog, and recent acceptance of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Elizabeth Banks is either a star that’s actually just like us, or a well-designed cyborg. Watching Banks throw ice water on herself and squeal a little bit is just as adorable as expected—added points for the humble shower backdrop, as opposed to some sort of celebrity cabana beach party and/or infinity pool.
If you didn't think Lance Bass was having an awesome time being Lance Bass, then think again. Bass once suffered the indignity of being the third hottest member of 'N Sync, widely considered to be less hot than JC Chasez. I’ll repeat: less hot than JC Chasez. Now, Bass is proudly out of the closet and having the best life ever, as evidenced by this clip. Sure, Justin Timberlake might have gone on to be a world renowned solo artist and pop sensation, but Lance Bass has a sick white pompadour and a passion for philanthropy; plus, he spends his free time casually lounging on a swing. Your move, JT.
Nonchalantly taking the Ice Bucket Challenge in a Juicy-style zip up at her hair salon is the most badass thing Martha Stewart's done since she was sentenced to five months in federal prison. Stewart took the plunge in response to Matt Lauer's televised Today Show challenge. After dumping a bucket of ice on her head, Stewart proceeded to challenge three "domestic goddesses": Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, and Ellen DeGeneres.