A portrait of Lil Miquela
Since Instagram launched its new algorithm, which gives popular posts more visibility, it arguably made it more difficult to discover new aesthetics and alternate definitions of beauty. By doing this, social media perpetuates but one aesthetic.
Look-a-likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian; thoughtfully constructed eyebrows, faces heavily contoured and highlighted, lips matte and plump.
What’s more, the images shared online are increasingly curated, retouched and perfected by means of excessive makeup application and sometimes having had work done. The demand is reflected in the real world, with plastic surgeons reporting a dramatic increase in people requesting “Instagram worthy” surgeries.
“They want to look like computer-altere versions of themselves,” Esho (Dr.Tijon Esho, celebrity plastic surgeon) explained. “Lots of my patients bring in images of themselves where [Instagram] filters have been overlaid and say that they want to achieve the look that the filter has given them.
As Sarah Buglass, Ph.D. researcher at the Division of Phycology at Nottingham Trent University told The Post, Comparing ourselves to others — in particular models and celebrities — is not a new phenomenon, what’s different now is that people we’re comparing ourselves to, are being presented to us in a more “real” environment. These days , it’s not just the rich and famous we’re comparing ourselves to, it’s our ‘friends’ and social connections, not to mention filtered images of our own face.
“Seeing such a highly curated images validated online, by being ‘liked’ and commented on favourably by many others, gives an indication that the beauty ideals displayed are normal and socially desirable,” Buglass said. This may turn have a negative impact on our self-esteem and mental health.
Exhibited as a large fine art print at the M&C Saatchi London headquarters as part of Visual Diet.
An exhibition by M&C Saatchi London in partnership with MTArt Agency and RANKIN
Panel discussions about our Visual Diet and its impact on mental health by: @mimigray @marinetanguyart @rankinarchive@gemfletcher And @technicallyron
The Sunday Times