The Toxicity of Beauty Standards on Social Media

By Maia Fulton

Everyone at some point has witnessed the toxicity of beauty standards on social media. Whether it be a viral video/picture of someone on a bad hair day, rare skin condition or fake health experts ridiculing overweight people for simply just living their lives. We’ve all witnessed it and sometime even partake in it although we may not realize it. By retweeting, liking, sharing or sometimes just staying silent.

But by being bystanders and enablers to the toxicity, we have allowed ourselves to believe that this culture has become apart of human nature which has desensitized us to it. This is why it has become easy for people to criticize and judge people for their appearances and feel just in doing so. However, is there ever a line? Are there ever any limits? Apparently not.

Recently, Kim Kardashian-West posted a photo to twitter of her youngest daughter Chicago, Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi and Khloe Kardashian’s daughter True. The photo depicts the cousins sitting on the floor. While most people would see the photo and automatically think of how cute the girls are, a lot of people’s focus was how True was “too dark” and that the other girls were cuter. Without much further explanation, this already wreaks of colorism. That’s correct, a 5 month old baby has already become the victim of colorism and bullying on the internet before she can even talk. Children being victims to the toxic world of beauty standards on the internet isn’t new. Beyoncé’s daughter Blue endured the same kind of colorism and ridicule as a baby and even now as just a 6 year old. She was often compared to Kim Kardashian’s oldest daughter, North, for being darker, having more afrocentric features and kinkier hair. This is because the internet has fetishized biracial children with certain features and being that Blue Ivy’s hair is a little too kinky and True’s skin tone is a little too dark, they do not fall into the definition of “beauty” society has created.

This then poses the question, what defines beauty? Slick Woods, a model who recently went into labor while walking for Rihanna’s Fenty lingerie line, has also been a recent target of social media ridicule for her appearance.

Misogyny and misogynoir has already done a number on women over the years and has made some of us believers and followers of a system meant to oppress us and a lot of us don’t even realize it. Ripping apart other women and children for their appearances is just one of the things misogyny has made some women believe is a non-issue when in reality is just perpetuating self-hate. People will say it has nothing to do with “skin color” or “prejudice” but these are the root causes of the toxic beauty standards our society faces.

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