The Dangers of TikTok Beauty Trends

Teens who use TikTok may feel insecure about their looks because of trends involving their face or body.


Naomi hodgson

Social Media on an iPhone

by Naomi Hodgson, Contributor

The trends that those on TikTok participate in are usually relatively harmless, creating a positive experience for most users. However, there are some trends that involve one’s physical appearance and ultimately make the people that witness or try them more insecure about themselves. 

If you have been around on the internet for a while or watch a lot of television, you may have heard about the app named TikTok, which has been growing in popularity recently. Currently, there are about 850 million people using the app, and it is also the most downloaded app in the iOS app store. 

The main idea of TikTok is very similar to that of another app named This is because ByteDance, who originally started an app named Douyin in China, bought and merged the two apps together, creating TikTok

Among the 850 million people who use the app, a large number of them are young, impressionable teenagers. To be precise, 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old. 

The specific trends that are known to be harmful within the community are challenges where someone, usually a girl, would wear a baggy shirt and then tighten it to reveal their body shape. Some are trends that have to do with someone’s face. For example, TikTok has a filter that allows users to invert the camera. It became a trend for these young people to use the inverted camera feature on their faces, saying “this is how you look to other people.” 

The inverted camera trend is usually played off as a joke because of how strangely asymmetrical their faces looked with the filter on, but there were some who cried when they used it because they felt insecure about their appearance. 

However, there are other trends that seem less subtle and strangely specific. For instance, there is a trend where users put their index finger on their nose and say that “if your lips touch your finger while talking, you’re attractive.”

Another one is where the user compares the size of their forehead to their nose, and then their mouth using the space between their thumb and index finger. Again, the description of the trend is similar, “if the space between your fingers stays the same, you’re attractive.” A third and more bizarre trend claims “if your nose moves while you talk, that means you’re attractive/perfect.” 

The trends that have been listed here all have to do with attractiveness, most of them using facial features that people cannot control or change. When a young teen witnesses or participates in a trend like this, it may damage their self esteem when their nose does not move while they talk, or if the space between their fingers changes when comparing sections of their own face. 

Insecurities gained at a young age due to the usage of social media is quite common. In fact, a survey conducted by the Invisalign brand showed that over 54% of teens in the US felt that life would be better without social media. Additionally, 40% of those teens felt as if their appearances were more judged online than in real life. 

The usage of phones and other technology will most likely continue to increase, so a world without social media is impossible. However, the best thing a parent or a friend can do for a struggling teen is to check in on them, make sure they are alright, and, if possible, regulate the amount of time that person spends on the internet or on these social platforms. Sometimes, all a young person needs is somebody to listen to and understand their problems.