TikTok is extremely negative, creates insecurities and tears down people

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Bryant

Ignoring the hate -- TikTok star Addison Rae Easterling poses in the Bahamas in March 2020. Easterling is one of thousands of TikTok users to be body shamed on the app.

Sydney Bigelow, Copy & Design Chief

Like most social media apps, TikTok, a popular video platform, provides unrealistic body and beauty standards and creates insecurities in people around the world, especially teenage girls. Due to the trends and popular creators, TikTok is more negative about body image than Instagram or other social media platforms. 

On TikTok, users spend hours a day scrolling through their “For You Page”, where they see videos made by celebrities or by small users like themselves. The “For You Page” features comedy, singing, cooking, lip syncing, and of course, videos that focus on body image. With summer approaching, the longtime trend of having a “bikini body” is highlighted on TikTok with dances done in bathing suits, and the negative comment sections. 

A “bikini body” is not a new concept to social media, nor is society’s beauty standards. For girls, there is a certain body type and certain body features that people believe are most attractive, and girls strive to obtain that figure. Girls across the world see others who may fit the standard more than they do, and it leaves them feeling bad about themselves. 

The comment section on a TikTok video is what makes a video so harmful. If the girl in the video showing off her body doesn’t meet the beauty standard, jokes or rude comments are made. Other users are so quick to tear a person down if they don’t look perfect in society’s eyes. If the girl does fit the beauty standard, girls who now feel insecure comment things such as “I don’t want to eat anymore” or “why don’t I look like this”, clearly feeling very poorly about themselves. 

These comments and body expectations are so severe that it creates insecurities for girls who never had any before. On the videos of popular creator Addison Rae Easterling, fans commented that it was refreshing to see a more realistic body type. Despite the good intentions of these comments, it is a backhanded compliment to tell someone that their body is more realistic than others, and it left Easterling feeling discouraged about her body. 

“I’ve seen five to 10 tweets & TikToks today talking negatively about my body and weight.. it makes me feel insecure,” Easterling tweeted. 

These videos and comments appear so frequently that it is near impossible to avoid them if you are scrolling through TikTok. Another type of video that appears frequently are videos referring to weight loss, dieting, and workouts. Although there are several accounts that positively encourage and support people trying to eat healthy, some accounts promote unhealthy weight loss methods, such as starving yourself or taking laxatives. 

There is hope for the platform to grow positively. Even though so many people are on TikTok tearing others down, there are so many others who are working to build people up. There is an increase in videos promoting healthy eating, confidence, and praising others. Popular creators and small creators need to continue to hold themselves accountable and only post about weight or body image in a positive, uplifting light.