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Has TikTok Done More Harm Than Good For the Body Positivity Movement?

As an avid TikTok user, I will say that there is a new trend to indulge in every week, especially in regards to the body positivity movement. There are many that steer the movement into a positive direction, but there are also many that are harmful towards the movement. In my opinion, TikTok has done more harm than good when it comes to this movement. 

There are countless trends on TikTok surrounding people’s bodies. Currently, there’s a trend that uses audio from a SKIMS ad that features Kendall Jenner. In the audio, Jenner says, “My favorite part of my body is my height.” Then, people will refer to a picture of Jenner in an all-black outfit where she raises her hands up to elongate and thin her body out. People will then replicate Jenner’s image, and try to show off their body. There are over 31k videos under this certain TikTok sound, with comments saying participants in the trend looked better than Kendall, that they would die for their body, questioning why their body didn’t resemble the TikToker, and some would even go as far to say that God has favorites because they don’t look the way some TikTok users do.

Does anyone remember when the song “Heather” by Conan Gray was trending on TikTok? Every time the song would pop up on my “For You Page”, I would press “not interested” because I despised the trend that came along with the tune. People would use the clip of the song that goes, “Why would you ever kiss me? I’m not even half as pretty, You gave her your sweater, it’s just polyester, But you like her better, I wish I were Heather”. While using that part of the song, people would post pictures of celebrities or influencers that they wished they looked like. TikTok has many trends like this one, where people compare themselves to celebrities or influencers. It’s extremely upsetting, especially when you know that a majority of those celebrities are portraying a false image for people to compare themselves to.

There was a product that was being promoted and boosted all over TikTok in the beginning of 2020. The brand, Rae, had a product titled “metabolism drops”. The drops supposedly did exactly what they sounded like; they would speed up your metabolism, and then you shed some pounds to finally have the “dream body” you’ve always wanted. Some users claimed the drops even helped them lose 5 pounds in a week. Even though that is not healthy, I remember going on TikTok and seeing people trying to buy this item and it had sold out at all stores everywhere. 

It’s sad, right? TikTok seems to be a major hub for companies, celebrities, and brands to feed off of people’s insecurities. Yes, there are a plethora of body positive TikTokers who try to empower people to feel confident in the skin they’re in. However, with the constant photoshop, comparison, and body shaming that is confined within the app, it is clear to me that TikTok is doing more harm than good for the body positivity movement.

Amaiya Sancho

St. John's '25

Hi! My name is Amaiya Sancho, I'm from Columbia, Maryland, and I am a writer for Her Campus St. John’s. I am a Communications major, and I am minoring in Social Justice. I was a writer and sports/arts Editor for my high school newspaper, and I'm more than excited to be apart of HerCampus.
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