woman filming herself with a smartphone in a ring light

Is it Time for Glow Ups to Go Out of Fashion?

Why glow up videos might not be as positive as they seem on the surface

Mental health and wellbeingTech and the online world
By VoiceBox ·

Marios Stamos

Animal lover | Writer & dreamer | Mental health advocate | Neurodivergent & proud | Gardening enthusiast | Sunset enjoyer | Comic book reader

Is it Time for Glow Ups to Go Out of Fashion?

Social media sites first hit the scene around two decades ago, but there's no sign that they're going to slow down any time soon. No one can deny that they constantly influence our lives. Internet trends like the "Glow Up" are one of the many ways they do it.

For those of you that don’t know, glow up means having a positive personal transformation. But the truth is that it's less about making a positive change for yourself and more about conforming to society's beauty standards. In fact, the most viewed glow ups on social media are about people that have lost a huge, and maybe even unhealthy, amount of weight.

The concept of a glow up isn't something new. It's been around long before social media came into the spotlight. Not only it's the most basic trick of beauty salons, plastic surgeons, and even gyms, but there have been countless movies about it. Many movies use glow ups or “makeovers” as a way to get back at the main character’s ex. To show them what they're missing out on now that you're the “winner” of the breakup.

Why are Glow Up Videos so Successful?

It's been proven that social media can be harmful to the mental health of its users, especially the younger ones, but that doesn't stop the internet from loving glow ups. Many people with low self-esteem and body image issues think that if they can track their progress, then they can also track their “worth”. They think that as the numbers on the scale go down, their worth goes up. Going down this road can lead you to a path of always trying to lose more weight, even at the cost of your health.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with self-improvement. However, we live in a superficial society, and behind all these toxic glow ups is the extremely dangerous notion that we’re not worthy of love and respect until we conform to society's beauty standards: that we don’t deserve appreciation and happiness if we have acne, don't wear a full face of makeup, or aren't as thin as possible.

Is There a Solution?

Instead of constantly focusing on our looks, it would be a good idea to start seeing glow ups that promote truly positive transformation and not this toxic positivity we see now. Not everything has to be about our looks. Glow ups can also be about mental health, or about the environment; after all, Mother Earth needs us now more than ever. Social media can be a great way to spread awareness about truly important issues and how everyone can do their part. 

Now is the Time to Love Ourselves

It's time to stop chasing a perfect figure and a flawless face. Let's move away from toxic beauty standards. Let’s stop focusing solely on the superficial parts of life, and let's celebrate every day we're able to roam this earth and every achievement, no matter how big or small.

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