TikToxic: TikTok Reinforces Unrealistic Beauty Standards


Cristian Franco

TikTok can create and reinforce unrealistic beauty standards for young minds.

When we turn on our cell phones and log onto social media we enter a new land and a vast reality that doesn’t really exist. But it does exist, just not really.

A lot of the photos of attractive people are edited to look perfect, hiding the stretch marks, hormonal acne and human inconsistencies. These images are seen by people and subconsciously become the new normal- the standard of what everyone should look like or aim to look like. Constantly seeing pictures from societally attractive people all over screens can start to get to you. Scrolling through the feed starts to make people of all ages feel downgraded and it affects their confidence. But we keep scrolling. 

Junior Abigail Armendariz is on social media for about a third of her day, she says. She believes that social media creates unrealistic beauty standards. She is one of many teenagers who are affected by these lies that are put on our phone screens. 

“Not everything that you see on a screen is exactly what it seems in person,” Armendariz said. “They [social media influencers] put out what you want them to see and hide the things they don’t.”

Seeing so many attractive people on social media tends to affect Armendariz’s confidence because she feels as if she might not fit society’s standards. 

We typically set standards subconsciously through the frequency of seeing these attractive people all day long. It makes most people think that having a perfect body and face is the new normal and that is not the case. We as humans come with imperfections. There is no such thing as the perfect face or body because all of us are unique in a certain way. 

“They [society] act like we are a “build-a-bear,” where we can get a certain body or features on our face,” Armendariz said. “No matter whether someone obtains their body naturally or gets some work done it is never enough for society and they will get hate either way.” 

Because of the unregulated nature of the internet, it is a place where people can be bold and say things because they are in the comfort of their homes typing words onto a screen. The comments made by these people can turn the internet from a virtual world full of opportunities and fun to a very toxic and negative one that causes insecurities. 

“Social media affects mental state and can lead to depression,” Armendariz said. 

This lack of confidence and increase of insecurities are seen in not only girls but in boys, too. Typically when this topic arises the guy’s side of it is not very heard of but on the contrary it is pretty common for guys to feel as if they don’t fit society’s standards as well. 

Khamden Smith is a student that feels that social media affects his confidence and he believes that it can affect more people than others. Khamden mentions that any free time he gets he is usually on social media so he has seen plenty of things through social media apps including comments. 

“Some people become famous just from being good looking nowadays,” Smith said. “You see in the comments things like omg he’s so good looking and it makes you wish that you looked like that.” 

Comments play a big part in the negativity that floods our phones. Although comments are just words they can really take a toll on a person. Comments can even affect relationships. 

“Maybe you’ll see your girlfriend in the comments or following someone attractive and it makes you think things like dang she thinks he’s attractive and I don’t look anything like that,” Smith said. 

When scouring the internet guys typically stumble upon images or videos from people with fit or muscular bodies and it typically makes them start comparing. 

“You start comparing your body to people on social media who are fit or look really good but oftentimes it’s genetics and you can’t do much about it,” Smith said. “Seeing someone with really clear skin and no acne just makes you wish that you were like that.” 

Although social media and the internet have many negative aspects to it, it also has some positive ones. 

“Social media can positively influence your style and the way you present yourself as a person,” Armendariz said. “Someone might feel as if they are weird but find someone on social media that they can relate to and feel more comfortable with themselves in a way.”