Has Social Media Turned Our Insecurities Into Makeup Trends?

makeup trend

I remember a time when I was extremely insecure about my thick and bushy eyebrows. I wanted to go in with tweezers and thin them out so badly that I tried a couple of hacks and ended up with funny-looking brows for a few weeks back in the 7th grade. At some point, fuller and bushy brows became the most sought-after makeup trend. Makeup wearers did everything in their power to draw around their thin brows to achieve that high arch.

But as someone who had been called names her entire pubescent life for having caterpillar eyebrows, this change in what was ‘trending’ was shocking! Back then, I could have easily thanked my stars for turning my biggest insecurity into my most striking feature, but I just kept wondering which of my other insecurities would soon become acceptable in the name of a ‘trend’.


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I recognised this to be a phenomenon and not a one-off occurrence when another girl from my class with fuller lips was called names like ‘fish’ and ‘duck’ until it became a desirable feature. Lip augmentation procedures, lip-plumping suction cups, lip-plumping glosses–what was once the reason someone got bullied, now became something people pay big bucks for.

How Are Makeup Trends Harmful?

Take the sunken eye makeup trend, where you contour below the eyes to create the appearance of naturally sunken eyes. This trend seems to romanticise a feature that many individuals might be self-conscious about. On one hand, we have videos showing us makeup tips for someone with sunken eyes and eye bags, whereas on the other we have a video titled ‘How to achieve the sunken eye look’.

What was, for the longest time, hidden away with layers and layers of concealer, is now accentuated because it is supported by hashtags, TikToks and Instagram Reels.

Another one where emotions were pushed aside to make way for aesthetic appeal was the crying girl makeup trend. At the risk of sending a message that one should aspire to look sad and helpless, it too made the rounds on social media. Capitalising on people’s insecurities for the sake of aesthetics not only reinforces unrealistic beauty standards but also carries the idea that certain physical traits should be embraced only when they become trendy.

Don’t get me wrong, makeup trends, for the most part, give makeup enthusiasts a chance to get their creative juices flowing. They make you step out of your comfort zone of a winged liner into the exciting realm of graphic liners. Blush techniques like draped blush, ombre blush or the many unique colours of blush work on every skin type and skin colour.

Latte makeup is essentially just finding a brown that suits you, and basing your makeup look around it. Euphoria eyes or bedazzled eyes can be aced with the creative placement of rhinestones and gems. So these trends are inclusive in the truest sense of the meaning.

However, when makeup trends target specific features like freckles or sunburn, they can hurt someone’s self-esteem and body image. People who have freckles are affected by the sun’s rays much more than those without freckles. People are going so far as to use henna and fake tan to make their faux freckles look ‘natural’. But creating them only suggests that this skin condition is desirable only when it is temporary.

And it’s all fun and games when you’re placing blush across your face for that sunburnt look, but being sunburnt isn’t all that fun.

The acceptance of these questionable makeup trends is a testament to how malleable our opinions are, and how powerful social media is. As consumers of makeup products and makeup-related content, we must be critical of trends that glorify insecurities in the name of celebrating diversity. Brands alike should promote beauty practices that uplift rather than exploit, and be mindful of the products they are putting out into the market.

So, as social media continues to throw makeup trends at us one after the other, make sure you know which ones to follow and which ones to skip.

Beauty Writer

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