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Body Positivity in Social Media

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Recently, Sienna Mae, a 15-year-old Tik Tok star, blew up on the social media app. She got famous for pulling her pants partially down to show her stomach and dancing. Needless to say, people were raving about it.

Person Holding TikTok with a Cloud Background
Photo by Kon Karampelas from Pixabay

It was understandable. A lot of the girls on the app fit a certain glorified body type, and this was like a breath of fresh air. These girls have a flat stomach with impossible curves, and their popularity may be disheartening. When I come across someone like that in my feed, I am envious of their looks, but internally, I know that I am more likely to give them a follow or interact with the post because of their flawless image. The same behavior is shown in the comments; people comment things like the hourglass emoji, or “Guess I’m not eating today,” or something along the lines of that. But when a girl or anyone posts a video on Tik Tok and they don’t fit the beauty standards or a certain body type, the comments go the opposite direction.

Love yourself written on wall
Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst/Shopify

    Sienna Mae may not fit one aspect of the desired body type, but she certainly fits the beauty standards. She has a curvy figure that people seem to take note of more than her message of body positivity. The only “flaw” people can point out is that her stomach jiggles a little, which is a completely human characteristic. Everything else about her appearance exceeds the average. Even the plus-size models you see on television still fit the beauty standard of prettiness, like Ashley Graham.

Lili Reinhart photo
Photo by Gage Skidmore distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license
My friend and I recently complained about this; there is no way to achieve a status of fame unless you’re attractive. 

Everyone you see on social media platforms is all beautiful, and the more average-looking people are famous for other things like humor, but they simply don’t receive as much attention as the former.

    Maybe it comes back down to human nature: we idolize people with things or statuses we can only dream to achieve. While there are always comments under an influencer’s post like “She’s only famous for being pretty, not for talent,” people will still give them attention. I do think Sienna Mae is a positive force on Tik Tok, as I see the many comments of girls saying they feel much less self-conscious of their bodies, but those comments are also getting more sparse. It didn’t necessarily make me feel any better about myself, but it was nice to see the positive impact it made on other people. When scrolling through social media, it’s important to be conscious of the inherent prejudices the app may exude.


Theresa Liu

U Mich '24

i will be editing this section later
Theresa Liu

U Mich '24

Sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Financial Mathematics