Your Daily Reminder

Social media expresses a false representation of body image, but a recent trend on TikTok reminds us that natural is normal.

Tik+Tok+Creators+have+created+videos+reminding+their+viewers+that+social+media+is+fake+by+showing+their+natural+features.+

collage by Anna Parsons

Tik Tok Creators have created videos reminding their viewers that social media is fake by showing their natural features.

By Anna Parsons, North Allegheny Senior High School

The natural human body and all the different shapes it comes in has become the source of constant harassment in modern society. Instead of embracing the quirks of the human body that are completely normal, society has labeled them unacceptable and highly undesirable. However, a recent trend on TikTok has challenged society’s view and has become a positive daily reminder.  

Body image is a popular topic of discussion that involves many different opinions. How the “ideal” body should look has changed throughout the decades and centuries, but one aspect has always been consistent. It is always defined as “perfect,” and it excludes the so-called “imperfections” of a normal human body. 

Society tells people that their stretch marks are ugly, their flabby skin is unhealthy, their wrinkles are gross, their scars are unnatural, their excess hair is nasty, their acne is disturbing, and the list goes on seemingly forever. People are taught that “perfection” is only achieved if all these elements of a body are erased. 

Instead of preaching that all the “imperfections” of someone’s body makes them unique and beautiful, society has done the exact opposite. They are tearing bodies down for possessing features that they should have. And many start to believe that owning these “imperfections” means something is wrong with their body. 

Unfortunately, social media has given society an outlet to forcibly express their ideas of perfection. From creating filters that eliminate texture on skin to utilizing photoshop in order to manipulate the natural body shape, social media represents fake examples of what a body should look like. Posting real and normal body characteristics is an unheard of action on social media because it goes against society’s definition of perfection. 

Someone who does not have the ideal slim body shape posing in a bathing suit is fat shamed. Someone with acne is told they don’t take care of their skin well enough. Someone who doesn’t have muscle definition is called weak. Someone with a textured face and makeup is called cakey. These are all examples of normal body qualities that are aimlessly criticized on social media. 

@spencer.barbosa / TikTok

However, a recent trend on the popular social media platform TikTok is staring society in the face and telling it to be silent. People of all shapes and sizes are posting TikToks in which they “remind everyone that social media is fake.” The short clip features the creator showing off their insecurities that are deprived from society to express that natural bodies are beautiful and perfectly normal. 

Stretch marks, excess hair, acne, scars, skin rolls, textured skin, flabby skin, nail cuticles, dry skin, and more are revealed in the videos to express a message of self love and normalization of natural body characteristics. 

The video always starts off by saying “This is your daily reminder that social media is fake.” The fact that society has pushed this toxic idea that intrinsic qualities of the human body are unacceptable so much to the point that people need a daily reminder that it’s all fake is saddening. Many of us, especially teens, still believe social media to be a truthful representation of life.

@xobrooklynne /TikTok

The significance of this latest TikTok trend is cannot be understated. The individuals posting their perceived flaws to the world in order to demonstrate that “imperfections” are not negative things have immense mental strength. Being able to cross the boundaries society puts on a presentable body is not an easy task. But it is absolutely necessary to pave the way for the acceptance of natural body aspects. 

Having these creators post this content shows all people, but mostly young people who rely on social media as a source of true life representation, that their bodies are acceptable. Especially when a more popular TikTok star, whom many people may see as “perfect,” expresses that they too have qualities that are deemed unworthy by society, it allows their viewers to feel normal. 

As the trend grows in popularity, more and more users will learn that society’s grip on what is acceptable for the human body and what isn’t is unrealistic. The videos will create a sense of unity in possessing normal body features, ultimately leading to a more positive outlook on them. 

A “perfect” body is not necessarily one with a slim figure, no scars, no textured skin, and no excess hair. A perfect body is one that encompasses all natural and normal qualities of the human body in whatever way they present themselves on each individual human body. No two people are meant to look the same. In reality, all bodies are perfect because they are their own. 

On TikTok, natural bodies are trending in a way they never did before, and the outcome will only improve how we see ourselves and others. 

This story was originally published on The Uproar on April 14, 2021.