As a 22 year old, I feel most comfortable expressing myself on social media. Whether that be venting on twitter, posting a confidence boosting selfie on instagram or sharing a political post on facebook. I’m guilty of doing all three of those (many times all in one day). The Beauty Industry is also guilty of of social media takeover. But hey, it’s one of the best ways to reach the masses. But for every persuasive Cover Girl instagram, there is an anti-covergirl instagram (if not more).
In December of 2015, a lifestyle website known as Refinery29 published an article on how social media affects the way we (as in women) shop for beauty products. The article mentions BeautyCon, a beauty industry convention that attracts over 5,000 people. The social media mark up of BeautyCon earns over 323 million twitter impressions and can be seen trending nationally on twitter and instagram. BeautyCon has become so popular because of social media. But how did BeautyCon come to be? And who is paying $270.00 for this experience? What do sites like YouTube that are traditionally used for vloggers and music have to do with putting on lipstick? Michelle Phan, the Youtube Beauty Guru with 8,499,051 subscribers, , says “I believe the internet has widened the marketplace for the beauty and fashion space,” she says. “We are living in an era where people want to share, so of course there will be a growing need for more diversity and ideas.”
So while Phan is teaching you how to perfect that cat eye or how to fix your smokey eye so you don’t look like a panda, there are beauty rebels trying to get their own message across. 1 year ago, a YouTube user called “The Nantucket Project” uploaded a video called “T“The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry” which today has 40,309 views. The 15 minute video exposes the truth about what is inside the products we layer on our face, every day. The chemicals and toxins that are used in beauty products are detrimental to our health. The links between cancer and those toxins are undeniable. The woman who started The Beauty Counter, has set out to create beauty products that don’t just make us look good, but products that keep us feeling good and healthy.
The YouTube user “DownWithIndustry” uploaded a video in 2011 called “Join The Revolution Against Fake Beauty”. The video is 1:58 long and shows clips of little girls, eating disorders and poor self esteem. It’s not a high quality video, but it produces a high quality message. The video message “Everyday the beauty industry affects us, and makes us feel worthless. It’s time to put an end to fake beauty and the perfection deception.” It’s the truth.
How can we learn to love ourselves when every time we get online, we’re bombarded with images and videos that make us feel ugly and bring our self esteem down?