Low self-esteem & TikTok Trends

TW: Mention of eating disorders

What is low self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the amount of worth or assurance someone has concerning themselves. When someone has low-self, that means that they lack confidence surrounding their overall worth. Having low-self esteem can affect many other aspects of your livelihood. Examples are getting a job, buying new clothes, or going out with friends. Low-self esteem can make it hard to do these things, which can lead to anxiety and depression.

How social media affects self-esteem

With the fast-paced culture of beauty standards, social media influencers are pressured to be out-of-this-world gorgeous. Unfortunately, this means that they feel the need to alter some aspects of themselves to enhance their features and build their brand.

One example of this is Kylie Jenner. Before Kylie admitted to receiving lip fillers, she created her makeup brand on the notion that buying her lip products would help the consumers get plumper lips. This is an example of how she altered a part of herself to build a brand catering to the insecurities of her young audience. There's nothing wrong with getting lip fillers. It just becomes immoral when it begins a whole trend that makes people feel as if their lips or features aren't enough and profiting off of it.

How TikTok trends affect our self-esteem

Many say that TikTok is the modern-day Tumblr. The amount of dangerous content on TikTok is growing, and so is the amount of young children who consume it. During the pandemic, TikTok trends surrounding getting fit during the long break began circulating. This created trends like "What I eat in a day" and "What to eat in a day to lose weight." Many of these creators put out content that showcased them eating very little amounts or not eating at all. This created a whole myriad of content that prompted disordered eating.

According to the article 'It's not worth it': Young women on how TikTok has warped their body image by NBC news, "But some users say what they see on the app has led them to develop body issues and eating disorders, a problem that has also been an issue on Instagram and Snapchat. With TikTok's youthful demographic, community-driven platform, and powerful recommendation algorithm, experts are worried that the app is particularly dangerous for people who are susceptible to an eating disorder relapse.

TikTok “seems very reminiscent of pro-ana Tumblr circa 2013,” said body-positive activist and TikTok user Melody Young, using an abbreviation for pro-anorexia. “‘Fitspo’ images are back, unhealthy eating habits are constantly documented, and it can make it really difficult to avoid relapse when you’re randomly shown content that glorifies eating disorders.”

The problem is magnified by the pandemic, which has pulled people indoors."

The pandemic led to many people seeking to do something with their free time. TikTok trends were like a new way for people to better themselves while spending pandemic time wisely. Unfortunately, this backfired. The same article states, "Averey Kennedy, an advocate for body positivity and eating disorder recovery, downloaded the app during quarantine. She said that for the first month and a half, she was targeted by videos “joking about how little people ate, how much they hated themselves, and methods they used to starve.”' This shows how the self-esteem of many plummeted after participating in TikTok trends. Continuously consuming triggering content can lead to the development of eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and depression.

How to avoid triggering content

Unfortunately, there's one clear answer to this: Get off social media. Consuming social media way less can help you avoid triggering content, which would make you way happier in the long run. You do not have to quit social media, just bear in mind that maybe over-consuming upsetting content is a major source of your distress.

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