Beauty, Lookbook

The cyber slay: social media’s impact on beauty and self-worth

Social media provides easy access to beauty tips and tricks, but it is helping women to love themselves more or loathe their looks?

If you want to learn how to “beat” your face, lay your edges, and snatch your waist, it is as easy as tapping the icon of your favorite social media app. It seems that over the past five or so years, women beauty secrets have gone from powder-room banter to daily posts on Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook and more.

But has this easy access to this form information in the beauty world helped to simplify the lives of ladies or add to the complexities of achieving “womanly perfection?”

Years ago, women flocked to YouTube to learn beauty tips and tricks from other women like them who were also considered 'beauty gurus' Click To Tweet

Years ago, women flocked to YouTube to learn beauty tips and tricks from other women like them who were also considered “beauty gurus.” At first, many of these “gurus” did not openly accept the title, because they felt they were just sharing their tips while also learning from others. However, this idea of being  a guru inspired women all over the world to try their hand at creating and re-creating captivating makeup looks. Women like Michelle Phan and MissyLynn went from doing tutorials on fuzzy webcams to building beauty empires. And now these beauty tutorials have evolved from YouTube to snippet videos seen on apps like Instagram, and even Snapchat is being utilized to showcase MUA’s daily/specialty makeup routines.

In addition to just makeup looks, many of these lovely ladies show the world their daily fashions, workout routines, dietary choices, and products they use to stay looking so fabulous. Just like on YouTube, they inform viewers and followers where they purchase their items and how those aspiring to achieve their looks can do the same. To some, this portrayal of how to achieve or recreate their level of “slayage” is helpful and exciting, but to other it adds onto their internal self-esteem struggles.

There are several articles that explore the depressive side of those who use social media, and often times, it is caused by users comparing themselves to others. On the beauty side of social media, it is not much different. Women of all ages often go through stages of comparing themselves to other women’s bodies, hairstyles, clothes, lifestyles, etc. Because of this, the “Cyber Slay” may add to the deepening of those feelings for women who feel as though they are not able to obtain the level of beauty they are constantly fed everyday.

Before social media, many girls and women alike would be seen comparing themselves to models in magazines and actresses in their favorite movies, and while some would attempt to replicate those standards, other offset the thought by recognizing those women as celebrities and elites who have access to things they could not.

It is hard to draw a line between a celebrity and an internet sensation. Click To Tweet

But now-a-days, your neighbor can looks just as glammed up as your favorite superstar online, and it is hard to draw a line between a celebrity and an internet sensation.

While the ease of access is appreciated and encourages many women across the globe to try new things in beauty, it can also intimidate women who feel as though they cannot compete. However, it is important to point out that social media beauty has encouraged mega brands like Dove and Lane Bryant use their social media pages to promote diversified beauty and a standard that all women can enjoy and feel good about.

Some YouTubers have even taken to their channels to remind women of all ages that although the daily images may cause you to doubt yourself or compare yourself to others in an unhealthy manner, social media is just simply a tool that we use but should not be allowed to define who we are, what you “should” look like, and what you should be doing.

So remember, there is NOTHING wrong with engaging in the Cyber Slay! Whether you are putting up tutorials or watching on your favorite screen, it can be fun to try to create new looks and try a new beauty tip you saw on Facebook – but if that is not your style, that is okay too.

Social media seems to amplify the good and bad across all topics of interest but it is always important to remember that just as quickly as your log on you can log off to take a break.