Embrace your individuality and not a social media fantasy

The digital age perpetuates so many ideals. We are force fed an agenda of beauty, lip fillers, and perfect hair through our daily Instagram dose, but why? Is it marketing gone mad, or just self-expression?, writes Abbie Dodson.
Photo by PixabayPhoto by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Vanity itself is timeless, but do businesses use social media to make viewers feel inadequate, and more likely to purchase beauty products, emblazoned with a promise of longer lashes or clearer skin?

I first noticed this marketing technique when Kylie Jenner’s lip fillers reinvented her. The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge went viral, showcasing many different individuals attempting to plump up their lips by placing them in small cups. This challenge was branded dangerous, with Kylie herself discouraging it due to complications.

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Since then, however, an endless amount of reality TV personalities have had fillers in their lips, and even tag the surgeon in their posts. Whilst I think it’s brilliant that we have so much freedom and the right to choose how we look, I think it’s wrong that so many impressionable young people see these aesthetics as “the norm” and subsequently hate their natural appearance.

If individuals who have undergone plastic surgery are honest and open about the procedure, then I have no issue with it, but when they are posting images of themselves posing with sponsored herbal tea that apparently helped them achieve those ‘abs’ (surgical fillers to give the illusion of abdominal muscles) I think that it is deceiving and unfair.

There was outrage in the summer, when plastic surgery advertisements kept being shown during this year’s Love Island, which is infamous for its lack of diversity regarding body types. It seems that television and the media present this ideal that beauty is the be all and end all of social acceptance and happiness. There is a template ideal which is constantly showcased, presenting a small waist, toned stomach, small nose and high cheek bones, which many women do not realise is unobtainable without medical intervention.

In life, we all look different. It’s fine to look how you want, and to express yourself, but never feel obliged to have plastic surgery or wear your hair a certain way because of the images you see in the media. I believe that social media has made society superficial and materialistic.

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Sometimes it’s necessary to remind yourself that we all lead different lives, and were born with different attributes. It’s so important not to compare yourself to other people, and to recognise the amazing things that you have to offer the world.

No matter what the internet says, it’s not all about how you look, is it?