Glow-up TikTok trend creates negative impact on viewers

Viral trend depletes confidence in viewers by showing natural beauty as needing to be changed


Caiden Stollar

A recent trend of glow-up videos has taken over Tiktok. Tiktok user @heavytomodified posted about their weight loss/glow-up journey on Tiktok, having lost 300 pounds so far. “[This trend] inspired me to work out more,” junior Drake Nolt said.

Since its debut in 2016, the app TikTok has made quite an impact on the younger generation. With almost 690 million active users, it’s safe to say that the majority of young adults and kids have an account.

The app features 15 seconds to 1 minute long videos tailored to the viewer’s preferences. By interacting with previous videos by liking, commenting, or sharing, TikTok takes that data in and shows more videos along those lines. Not only that, but the more likes and comments a video receives the more likely it is to be shown to other users. This creates both viral videos and trends, which dominate the app.

Trends are fleeting on TikTok and usually do not last more than a couple of weeks. Whether it is a certain song, or making a video with a pet, millions of users make the same video over and over again. Once a trend becomes more common and viral videos under that category stop being created, the users move on to the next one. One trend seems to have stuck: the glow-up trend.

The videos start with a clip of the creator without their hair done, or without makeup on, or looking “ugly.” The clip then transitions to their completed look with everything looking flawless.

Although it might seem harmless, this trend can subconsciously shift the way the viewer thinks about the “before”. This can happen because it creates an idea that not being perfect is unacceptable and needs to be changed before a person can actually look good.

Sophomore Torrin Shea has seen plenty of these videos.

“The ‘glow up’ trend does have a negative impact on viewers because it causes people to think they have to change in order to fit ‘beauty standards’. Typically in most ‘glow up’ videos the people have lost weight, or made some type of physical change. This has led to many feeling insecure and has caused them to push themselves to unhealthy habits in order to feel confident,” Shea said.

Social media is always going to be available to anyone and everyone and society are always going to have a new beauty standard it wants people to fit into. Because of this, it’s important for people to be secure in themselves which is never an easy thing to do.

The glow-up trend can be a fun way to show people getting ready or changing something about their appearance. However, people need to be more conscious about the message they are sending through those videos.