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Connection Between Social Media and Beauty Standards

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Whatever your background is, the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is to instinctively reach your phone and open Instagram or Facebook. From the very beginning we open our eyes, we are immersing ourselves in a false world. Whilst we think that we are mindlessly scrolling though such content, however, our subconscious is absorbing it all up. Those perfect bodies have become the standard by which we measure everything else. There are in fact two noteworthy points that we can consider why social media becomes the only way to define our beauty standards so is there really connection between social media and beauty standards?

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To commerce with, one reason is clear to most is that social media has huge influence to change people’s mind. Especially for the youngsters who are not able to think independently, since their values have not yet been formed, what they receive from the internet will gradually become a part of the values. Moreover, using social media, their friends share the same content of beauty. Peer influence makes their aesthetic taste tends to the same and correspond to the social media. According to a study conducted by Hootsuite in 2019, people aged 16–24 spend 3 hours per day on social media and 3.8 billion people is social media users. These number shows how people addicted to social media and we can know the impact of social media by inference. Indeed, the education is starting to flow both ways. Another study revealed 63% of moms are starting to learn new definitions from their daughters about beauty.Social media’s influence not limited to certain group, as it will likely cause second effects to their families and friends. Under this line of thinking, it is apparent that social consensus has been formed in the internet, which make people has the same senses of beauty.

Besides, what is also worthy of our attention is that the social media is promoting its beauty standards to people. In the recent years, social media seems to deliver some specific impression of beauty, especially the internet celebrities. It is not difficult to find that their appearance are more and more like each othe. Despite reshaping their bodies or faces by using photoshop, or even taking plastic surgeries, they won’t be criticised, instead, they have more and more fans to support them. In fact, this phenomenon is also appropriate for ordinary people. If people upload their selfie, as the social media is open to everyone, they will receive lots of comments from public. Undoubtedly, the more beauty you are, the more likes you have. The person who meet the criteria of beauty in the social media will receive hundreds of likes, and the person who are not up to standards may be send personal attack. Due to these reactions and judgement from others, people start to doubt their own thoughts of beauty and accept these judgment. In light of this, accounts for why people feel like their view of beauty defined by social media.

While some may put forward the idea that beauty standards is also defined by country’s cultural values. Historically, paintings show a wide range of standards for beauty. The beauty standards was changed due to different cultural values throughout centuries. The best example is that the criterions of appraising female beauty in western and eastern are totally different. Yet, is that still same today? Nowadays, social media have spread across the globe, as some main companies are hold the market, people use the same platforms world-widely. So the impact of social media is not depending on the location. Furthermore, globalisation of social media connect people together and reduce the culture differences. Without doubt, globalisation is mainly associated with macro social change, especially in culture aspect. Take K-pop as an example, recent year K-pop come into fashion in western, there has been a rise in Korean beauty trends coming over to the West, like Korean make-up and Korean-looking plastics surgeries. Being affected by the trends, even the culture values could be changed. Therefore, the culture difference is no more affect people to define beauty.

Considering the above analysis, it is my strong belief that social media becomes the only criterion of beauty. Not only can it influence people’s mind to unified the standards, it can also promote its concept to strengthen people’s thoughts on beauty. It is earnestly hope that we can use social media to change this morbid beauty, instead of following the paces of cosmetic surgery and weight loss. 

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