If I say there is an app where the recent beauty trends are popping up like crazy, you will probably know that I am talking about Instagram. Back in the day, when Instagram was first available, it was mainly a place for shots of food, travel, and blurry shots of your daily life.
Now, it has turned into a hot spot for mind-bending selfies and filters and beauty-defying trends that are redefining the way people think of beauty.
Perception and media
People know that models in the magazines and editorials in magazines are airbrushed and retouched now. With all the proof of poorly Photoshopped pictures available with a swift search on Google, the fact that trends and fashion are built on lies should be obvious. However, Instagram has done something to our perception of what is real and fake.
Not only do people on Instagram get to become famous for hosting beauty tutorials on YouTube or showing casing their skills, you can compare your Instagram idols to celebrities like Kylie Jenner. Everyone is on Instagram, it seems, and this is muddling the lines between Hollywood glamour and normal life.
People are seeing images of “regular” people who look as good, if not better, than their movie star icons. People are seeing the real picture but something processed so heavily that there is no longer a dividing line between truth and lies.
How trends are fake
Think about the perfection of the Kardashians and other idols on Instagram for a moment. The perfect skin, hair, plumped matte lips, smokey eyes, thick lashes, and fingernails. Everything is on point, all the time.
Instagram and other applications can work in sync to remove blemishes, make hair shinier, straighter; your lips can become more saturated with a swipe on the color bar, and you can use filters to add or remove makeup. It looks so natural that most do not question whether or not it is real.
Think about the crazy brow trends. First there with feather brows, then it moved to lightning bolts, barbed wire, squiggles, and even French braids. Did you notice that something here is very wrong? Instead of thinking, “that is impossible,” you probably thought, “Wow, how did they do that?” You might even think, “Wow, I wish I was that skilled with contours and highlights!”
Trust me, it is not contours and highlights. No amount of makeup is going to make your eyebrows look like a snake. No amount of biotin for hair growth is going to get your brow hair long enough to braid.
So what happens when someone who does not look like these bright-eyed Instagram idols with their perfect makeup, skin, hair, and nails? Chances are, you too start tapping the filters on Instagram, adjusting the blur, tone, and retouching the pores on your face to achieve the same look.
You might get creative and decide to start the next crazy trend, like weaving beads into your eyebrows or something to get the same shock factor of “how did you do that?”
I am not trying to say that these false beauty trends are completely evil and undermining the body positive movement. I think those who are thinking them up are quite clever.
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However, I think it should be the responsibility of these individuals to say that they did not simply braid their eyebrows or use highlighting to make them look like squiggles. I think attention needs to be brought to that fact that beauty is all about misconceptions and illusions, and that Instagram is a world built on that.