From Selfies to Self-Love: How Social Media Has Changed the Perception of Beauty—In the Best Way Possible

New platforms, new mindsets.

Social media is redefining what was once considered ‘flaws.’

Related: Uncomfortable Truth: The Unspoken Side of Self-Love That Isn’t Always a Party

We can collectively agree that this generation grew up navigating the confines of Western beauty standards—an experience that left us feeling flawed, insecure, and far from confident in our own skin. From meticulously curated campaigns to movie characters, the definition of beauty has always been synonymous with a picture-perfect Hollywood actress.

While the emotional exhaustion has lingered, not to mention the impact influencing our self-perception in ways we are still trying to heal from, social media is currently challenging the cookie-cutter standards pushed by old-school media. Although some may perceive the obsession with selfies and the over-saturation of viral videos as negative, here’s how social media has changed the perception of beauty—in the best way possible.

Authenticity and Connection

Authenticity has become the cornerstone of the beauty revolution on social media. Users resonate with unfiltered content that reflects real experiences. From makeup-free selfies to candid moments, authenticity has overshadowed aesthetics along the way.

The days of superficial posting and surface-level stories are slowly fading, fostering connection and dismantling the illusion of ‘picture-perfect’. While some may perceive the saturation of social media as negative, let’s view it as more people feeling heard, seen, and valued. The icing on the cake? Videos don’t always need to go viral when you’re just sharing about yourself.

Democratizing Beauty

Social media has democratized the definition of beauty, allowing individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and sizes to contribute to the conversation. The once-exclusive world of beauty has expanded, with every content reclaiming the narrative and redefining standards. This empowerment enables individuals to take control of their self-image and challenge conventional norms.

From bold and beautifully inked women winning in beauty pageants to men rocking their makeup routines, once-taboo topics have seamlessly blended into our reality. In this era of digital empowerment, social media not only reflects changing attitudes towards beauty but also actively contributes to rewriting the script on what is considered beautiful.

Diverse Representations

Social media has become a safe space for inclusivity, completely overturning the cookie-cutter standards pushed by old-school media. Now, our feeds are filled with women, models, and film characters that finally mirror our facial features. This representation isn’t just changing how we see beauty; it’s a revolution making everyone feel seen, especially those who’ve been pushed to the sidelines before.

Even with social media movements and hashtags embracing every kind of beauty, the hope is that the upcoming generation will understand that whitening lotions, rebonding sessions, and a generous dose of glutathione are not non-negotiables in their beauty routine.

Embracing Empowerment

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, a transformative shift is taking place—one that revolves around embracing empowerment. Liberated from the chains of conforming to unattainable beauty standards, users now find solace in platforms that champion the showcase of what was once labeled as ‘flaws’. As you scroll through feeds filled with real, unfiltered snapshots, imperfections cease to be blemishes; instead, they morph into beautiful facets that define the essence of you.

Think of content creators who courageously share their experiences with acne on social media. In a world where editing apps, beauty filters, and airbrushing exist, their authentic portrayal of skin struggles truly hits home. Through candid posts, their narratives normalize acne, smashing the stigma around dark spots and textures. It’s as if they’re proclaiming, ‘Hey, we all go through this!’ Turning what was considered ‘broken’ into just another part of being human.

Stories of Self-Love

The beauty buzz on social media has transformed into something way beyond looks; it’s now this beautiful conversation about self-love, body positivity, and building better habits. Whether it’s influencers with a massive following or everyday folks sharing their real stories, they’re painting these inspiring pictures of personal narratives, nudging everyone else to give themselves an extra squeeze of love.

This time, consider creators like Angela Alguno, Coco Villacorte, and Rianne Motas, who openly share stories of body positivity and photos of their OOTDs, influencing women with similar mid-size bodies to do the same. Their impact serves as a real-life example of how social media can be a powerful tool for reshaping societal standards, emphasizing the fun fact that beauty isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Continue Reading: Am I Pretty Yet?: How Face Filters Have Affected My Self-Image and Life Outside of Social Media