How is it that we live in an image obsessed, vain society where people like Kylie Kardashian can grow their fame purely based on “enhancing” their looks (with the aid or money) to look less like themselves and more like a plastic creation? Even her sister Kendal asked her “has anyone ever told you, you look like a bratz doll?”. Kylie, when learned she is seated next to Halle Berry and Ryan Reynolds at the Met Ball, freaked out because she feels incapable at twenty years old, to know how she will start or hold a conversation with mature, knowledgeable adults.
Her 99 million followers symbol a whole generation transfixed with iconography of beautiful women (note: most girls and guys news feeds are filled with females- guys want to be with them and girls want to be them) who are surgically enhanced or just that rare 0.0001% of the population with natural symmetry and jaw dropping features. Take Cindy Kimberly for example, a beautiful girl who started a Youtube empire and modelling career after one trending photo of her face was regrammed by Justin Bieber, leading her to become acquainted with Justin and socialising with his inner circle of trending talent (like her model bf Neels Visser).
All this fame and popularity from just a pretty face photo of someone who was just luckily born with what society understands as beauty (big lips) and what science tells our brains is appealing and trustworthy due to almost perfect symmetry. This attraction is a true concept of natural evolution, traditionally seen as the opposite sex flock to those who are more symmetrical because they are attracted to such people and our brains see it as a sign of health reflecting good development. Strange how science and evolution play into this but it is also your fault you are buying into brands such as the Kardashians who clearly have paid to distort their bodies to become more beautiful with no true meaningful message or effect. You could say they are business moguls but that started out as just Kris (she isn’t the one being looked up to for her beauty) and now extensive teams of stylists, assistants, PR people, app developers, beauty line creative content directors etc; contribute to the success of their fashion and beauty empire, in turn inspiring you to wear more makeup or spend more on fast fashions.
I find it detrimental to young developing girls that all Kardashian girls and Kylie Jenner have the audacity to mass market to their millions of combined followers and popularise the waist trainer as a way to loose weight (note- it would be ok if they promoted it for posture) but LOOSE WEIGHT (come on Khloe, we know you secretly killed yourself at the gym and I saw you melted your fat with CoolScultping on KUWTK, don’t credit this contortion device). The waist trainer is reported by doctors to worsen “core musculature development” (stop your ability to get abs), create an increased need for oxygen as it compresses your internal organs (“suffocate you”) and possibly suppress your appetite leading to improper functioning of internal organs and digestive issues. They do actually help you loose water weight (good if you never drink water again) . A Professor at Yale said if worn to much it could lead to rib damage, and “Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape”.
And aside of them we have tonnes of influences are other stunning beautiful girls we follow and cry over and compare ourselves to (Pia Muehlenbeck, Tammy Hembrow- both with fake boobs, Shani Grimmond- fake lips as well as regular facials, nail costs, hair colouring and blowouts, eyelash extension fill ins every two weeks etc;). Basically the price of beauty is ridiculous and by following these people that our mind falls into because of the science I explained, girls are hating on themselves more than ever. My most stunning friends will either shallowly accept my complements or immediately reply with “no but my hair is actually too oily, I’m overdue for a dye, nah I’m breaking out and need a facial” there is no true deep self acceptance or solace but an ever going hunt for the next thing to pay for to change ourselves. It’s going to be really damaging two generations from now. Imagine how we would feel about ourselves if the people we looked up to the most were real. Like if Bella Hadid never got her nose job, Pia Mulenbeck’s boobs were real, Kylie never had surgery, no one got there make up done and we all maintained our bodies the way God created them for us.
All those stunning VS models we love? Yep, they kill themselves to look that way. Adriana Lima once said in an interview she has three protein shakes for 9 days leading up to the show with powdered egg in them and drinks a gallon of water per day. Two days before the show she stops the shakes and cuts the water, 24 before she doesn’t eat or drink anything at all! Meanwhile she is still working out twice a day! (The VS dietitian even said she “would not recommend it [to the public]”- yet she literally did to the models?). Also, it was reported Bella Hadid starved herself in the lead up to the VS ’16 show leading to her fainting on some steps in NYC.
These tiny celebs keep up the image of eating big, Bella Thorne constantly posts burger photos despite having no stomach fat. Bella Hadid posts desert photos weekly on her instagram story and captions selfies on snap “I just ate so many burgers”…come on a normal person doesn’t eat multiple burgers (maybe ciders) let alone a frail model.
It’s crazy how the fittest, prettiest, most athletic people we will never meet that look like literally one in a few million, we compare ourselves to on a real level. My mother has honestly told me and my sister to try and look like Sjana Elise Earp a yoga instructor with a metabolic disorder (she has a super fast metabolism, demineralised bones and high adrenaline due to the failing chemical process in her body). Yet every day she posts photos of her tiny body (no shame, even if you have a condition you should be able to do this) but she has built a brand (through brand deals with bikinis, photos of her in tropical locations with travel companies) on her tiny body! There has to be something unethical here, even just more of a warning to young girls about her disorder besides the one mention in her website years ago. It was the best day when my sister once clapped back to mums comments with “mum she literally has an eating disorder”, mum was stunned and then said “well you girls could still work out more”.
Think of the tiny, gorgeous Alexis Ren. She is so petite and has admitted almost after years of hype and popularity over girls starving themselves to be her…yeah I have an eating disorder (see her 50 facts about me youtube channel video). Great! Let us know now, amidst you continuing to promote a LIFESTYLE brand about fitness ‘REN Active” when she confesses to starving herself for so long that ever after eating she would bloat more and feel worse. Remember Essena Oneill before she went crazy and quit social media (with half a million followers making her “$20,000AUD a post easy” she said) she admitted how depressed she was although she was her thinnest and what society would say her most beautiful state of her personal development. She was not satisfied by likes and not happy behind the youtube video. “Yet I, myself, was consumed by it. This was the reason why I quit social media: for me, personally, it consumed me. I wasn’t living in a 3D world.” Does this remind you of anyone (*cough* yourself?).
Like people naturally come in many shapes and sizes so lets be honest with ourselves! And love each other and not fame people because they lost weight, got there hair and eyelash extensions done and took a cute photo at the beach. They might be the most self-depriving or depressed of us all. That girl in that photo may be going through hell with family tragedies or a break-up and everyone is just gloating over her and hating on themselves. Real research has shown the more we use social media the less happier we are about ourselves- why am I not shocked? In the words of a Yale Science Director “we detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behaviour by encouraging more screen time which may lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavourable social comparison”.
What are the repercussions?
I heard on the radio today a woman who interviewed thousands of thirteen year olds for her parenting book said children of today spend more time creating their personal brand image than time in the park. They are more focused on creating their own fame than any other long-term goals.
Personally, I don’t ever what someone to take a picture of me without looking and god forbid post it!. I’m not famous (although I think more followers and more likes, a better bod and sicker holidays to take photos of and get the likes would make me happier) but I’m still scared people are going to see it and judge me to be ugly or something. I don’t even know what I’m fearful of but the fear is real. For instance, I am not pressing that camera button on FaceTime with no makeup at a random angle and lighting. I know I’ll never be satisfied because I am the DUFF to every person (maybe besides some odd cousins and obligatory high school friends) that I follow on social media. I will never look like Adrina Lima, I just physically won’t ok (even with all the CoolSculpting and waist trainers in the world).
Our distorted view of the world and ourselves is affecting not just how we see ourselves but how we act! Like everyone now days is scared to let loose and properly dance in the club because they don’t want it to end up as some viral video with everyone laughing. How sad, instead us girls all cake/beat/burry ourselves in full coverage makeup, get a cute pic and stand there looking cute. How boring! I want the memories not just the photos that are meaningless. My close friend and I often send each other photos we spot our old primary school peers in of them having injections or fillers, which have become cheap and accessible from local doctors. Each time my heart honestly breaks because I thought these girls looks pretty they way they looked, which showed off the distinctly same features carried down the family line. It’s almost like loosing loved ones to the dark side- once your cheeks have filler you’ll never be the same natural beauty you were.
Additionally, at the rate technology is burning through the environment, one day the wifi will crash globally. What then? My family can’t even watch a movie without all four of us checking our phones at least once (usually many, many more times). I can’t even sleep because the blue light from my phones and laptop affects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin making my brain still thinks its day time and I have heard this is super common of todays times.
What should we do? Live more, stop comparing ourselves to randoms, be happy in our own bodies, put our phones down, make memories and contribute to society in a meaningful way. I dare you to give it a go.
PS: By the way I do actually admire all the people I mentioned in this article and by no means want to defame them, I just want us all to be more transparent about what we are actually seeing and aspiring for. I actually was just going to go online and buy myself a smaller waist trainer but instead decided to write this article, I’m with you people and I am my own biggest critique and worst enemy and this needs to change now.