Youtube's Body Image Crisis

With every generation there is a new perception of what physical beauty in a woman looks like. In some situations, these standards reach dangerous levels, such as foot binding in China, but on all occasions, these standards create insecurities in young girls and women. 

In this day and age, beauty standards have been raised if not also birthed in part by the beauty community on YouTube. The beauty community includes any YouTube influencer who creates videos pertaining to makeup, hair and/or clothing. Beauty influencers can have up to millions of followers and viewers on their channel are, most if not all, girls as young as 7 to women in their 30’s. There is a lot of power in being able to reach so many people, most of whom are still at an impressionable age.

The trend that has been spread by YouTubers is physical alteration, which has come in a variety of ways, whether that is surgery, laser hair removal, sculpting, microblading, etc.—every minute detail. Many beauty YouTubers have gotten one or more of either lip fillers, butt implants, or breast implants, among other procedures. Many times, they are criticized for these choices and many times, they are defended in the comments. On many occasions, their reply to the critics is that it is their body and they can do what they want with their own bodies, which is true.

However, people have to realize that with a position of influence comes responsibility, and it won’t make sense for viewers to preach self love and body positivity while simultaneously changing parts of yourself. Young girls are viewing these videos and receiving these contradicting messages. They will end up following what they see, not what they hear. The figure that has been made popular in the media by people like Kylie Jenner include wide hips, big breasts, big lips and a small waist by any means necessary, which, for most people, is through some kind of surgical procedure. Young girls and girls that are going through puberty who see these videos internalize that it is this body type and only this body type that gets attention, is beautiful, and is celebrated and in comparison, may find themselves lacking.