Social media has led to changes in the beauty industry, thus influencing the way people perceive themselves.
Imagine all the people in the world, all 8 billion, and more than half of them are connected through social media. The popularity of social media has skyrocketed in the 21st century. Because of this, younger generations have easier access to social media making a large number of users between 18-29.
Social media has its advantages and disadvantages, but it cannot be denied that it has changed the way people communicate and interact with one another. Through social media, many different communities can collaborate with their members. The beauty community is a community that is forever changing, from new trends to new products being released.
Social media has altered how businesses and organizations in the beauty industry interact with their customers. The delivery of products has been ramped up, and beauty brands have begun conducting direct sales on social media. You can see this on big platforms like Instagram and Facebook where they now offer marketplaces. Social media has changed the way companies advertise and now makes global sales a reality.
Sales in the beauty community are targeted toward women because most of the audience is female. Although the beauty industry has become more inclusive, showing a diverse group of people, women are primarily the “faces” of large corporations in their advertisements and promotions. A Harvard Business School study found that 62% of women follow social media beauty influencers.
Why is this important?
As stated earlier the majority of people on social media are younger people. It has been proven that social media has led to beauty standards that are simply unachievable, negatively impacting the way people perceive themselves.
Beauty influencers and companies show the best of what they are promoting in order to increase sales and exposure, meaning that most brands and influencers upload heavily manipulated content on media, which doesn't correspond to the outcomes of the product being discussed.
According to Lancaster General Health, “Even if you know posts are filtered and carefully selected, constantly seeing other picture-perfect highlight reels can make it feel impossible to live up to other people’s lives.”
The mental health of individuals may suffer as a result of long-term exposure to manipulated images and recordings. Social media has led to unhealthy behaviors, such as increased anxiety among teens and young adults. Although males and females are about equally the same, in presence on social media females are more susceptible to mental health issues. This can be traced back to the number of women following the beauty industry, and the unattainable image that is depicted for them to achieve.
The significance of physical appearance has increased because of social media. The media has the power to warp people's perceptions of what is normal, for example, what constitutes a "normal" body type or weight. I.D. Vice reports that 82% of women concur that it has changed how they view beauty. The psychological link between beauty and identity causes people, especially women, to generally want to look their best in order to feel loved either by themselves or others.
Nonetheless, the beauty industry is trying to change its impact on its community. One way the beauty industry is starting to become more inclusive is by showing more men promoting products, such as makeup. Celebrity Alex Rodriguez has even gone so far as to create his own makeup line, exclusively for men.
Altogether, new media as well as the way that beauty is portrayed in the media has had a significant impact on how individuals have begun to view themselves.