Saturday, June 3, 2023

Pretty Hate Machine: Social media amplifies our insecurities as women, and tells us new ways we should hate the way we look

  • Instagram and TikTok are filled with alluring before and after pictures of beauty procedures.
  • While they’re acting tactfully, they can implant insecurities in women (and men!) that weren’t there before.
  • Buccal fat removal is the latest craze, and I’m tired of learning about new ways to sculpt myself.

Every day, Instagram tells us that there’s a new beauty standard to live up to. You can either pay thousands of dollars you don’t have to try to carve yourself out day by day or pay a therapist who can try to convince you that you don’t have to.

Either way, women are encouraged to spend the big bucks so that we don’t feel bad about ourselves.

My Instagram Explore tab is a mosaic of before-and-after plastic surgery photos of celebrities and everyday people, which physicians are advertising in hopes of bringing thousands of other women and me into their waiting rooms. And it works – on an alarmingly personal micro level.

The latest facial modification is something most of us probably didn’t even know existed before last week. This is called buccal fat removal and involves removing the buccal fat pad, or the natural fat in our cheeks, to appear leaner. Is there now meme And there have been dedicated Reddit threads mocking the trend, and even Instagram posts explaining how you can schedule an appointment for today’s procedure.

The conversation flared up after actress Lea Michele posted a selfie on Tuesday drawing comparisons to Lucia, the fictional character on HBO’s “White Lotus.” People not only disagreed but also noticed her newly sunken cheekbones. from there, rumors Rumors (not much confirmed) that she may have had fillers and fat removed around her jawline and cheek areas.

Mitchell nor his team immediately responded to Insider’s requests for comment.

While it’s not always clear what procedures celebrities get done (because they don’t tell us), the sunken Handsome Squidward look quickly making my way All over Hollywood — Chrissy Teigen admitted to surgery in 2021 — and now regular women have yet another facial feature to feel dissatisfied with.

Today, not only are young women asked to be both slim and curvy (thanks, Kardashians), but there are new indenting and chiseling and vacuuming mechanisms available to bring us that much closer to the new perfect face.

It is not my intention to litigate the right and wrong of plastic surgery. As with most things that sit in a complex gray space, each person must make the decision that feels best. Beauty standards are pushed into our consciousness at warp speed. The more social media posts there are about buccal fat removal, the more intrigue there is, and the more social media posts we keep getting fed up with. I haven’t had time to process the “fox eye” eyelift trend — especially as an East Asian woman, woof — that rocked earlier this year, and now I have to determine whether my cheekbones angle and Whether it is the right amount of sharpness or not.

Botox & Fillers 💉 (@botoxnfillers) shared a post on

There have been enough new cosmetic procedures this year alone to warrant a list of the “biggest plastic surgery trends of 2022.” The days of Kylie Jenner’s lip injection craze and the Brazilian butt lift (BBL) now seem like they existed in a blur past time immemorial.

I believe most people are not serious about jumping on the trend and scheduling a cheek fat removal appointment just because they saw a TikTok or Instagram post. But I worry about the over-abundance of these change positions for myself and even for young women and whether they may be starting to distort our better judgment. If we see a post once or twice, we can control ourselves to ignore them; Quiet our inner critic; Pushing back against oppressive voices. But when we see the same posts or discussions over and over that have been algorithmically placed in our home feeds, it becomes easy to become attuned to the notion that there is something wrong with us, to perpetuate. We need to fix, tuck and correct. trend.

Three years ago, writer Gia Tolentino famously coined the term Instagram face. It refers to the flattening of all beautiful people into a single, cyborg look – a swirl of Hollywood archetypes, social media beauty ideals and facial filters. Her 2019 New Yorker article cautioned us all to zoom out from our daily scrolling and see how it’s shaping our sense of self. But in the years since then, it seems our exploration of the Instagram face has grown even deeper; Our definitions of beauty have narrowed and become more contradictory (big butts, slim waists, sculpted cheeks, big breasts); And plastic surgery is a more exciting option than trying to create the authoritarian ideal women reach from girlhood.

While we scramble to find solutions for how best to exist as women in peace, social media companies profit from our insecurities. And their algorithms keep pushing the next set of beauty standards: A smaller forehead? Long, transplanted baby hairs? Maybe no head?

Times of National
Times of National
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