Without the knowledge of millions of teens and adults, corporations are feeding off the insecurities of many social media users. We’ve been told by these larger companies, whether directly or through sponsorships by popular influencers, that there are certain qualities considered ‘pretty’ and ‘changeable.’
Before I downloaded some of the popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok, I didn’t know about the unrealistic standard of beauty that everyone was expected to conform to. I thought there was only ‘pretty’ and ‘not pretty’ but social media told me otherwise. There could, apparently, be a lot of things “wrong” with bodies.
I would see influencers with massive followings endorsing products that would supposedly make you ‘prettier’ or would recommend cosmetic procedures. I would also see the other side, mostly on TikTok, speaking about themselves negatively on purpose or to be ‘funny.’ TikTok has over a billion downloads and these videos get millions of views from young girls who then believe that it’s okay to speak that way about themselves.
This is where corporations come in. From launching products that ‘cure’ serious mental health issues to ‘give you that radiant TikTok glow’ to encouraging young girls to get cosmetic procedures or even, in some cases, plastic surgery, corporations begin to capitalize on our insecurities. The companies are usually run by privileged men who only care about the economic and monetary gain. By deceiving these young teenagers (usually), these companies make huge profits. In other words, these corporate companies are making vast sums of money for tricking people into thinking they aren’t enough and that they need to ‘take action’ to make themselves happier, prettier, or make them just fit in.
What’s even worse is that people are believing them. If they don’t have something, they’re going to be made fun of at school, thought of as weird on social media, and are going to be made to feel out of place in the world. This is a fast-rising problem that is hurting many of these social media user’s mental health.
The good news is that there is something we can do. And it’s free. The first step is to stop buying and encouraging these products. We should stop supporting these companies altogether. The next step is spreading awareness about the fact that buying products for ‘cosmetic purposes’ is a choice that shouldn’t be associated with ‘being cool’ or ‘fitting in.’
The bottom line is that major corporations are capitalizing off of the insecurities of all social media users, including you. Remember that you don’t need to buy into these “trends” because there is just going to be something else you can purchase that can make you “better”. Additionally, even though social media can be used for good, it can also be used to toy with weaknesses.