Being human is based on a lot of contradictions. Everyone wants to have a perfect body without sacrificing some good French fries. The perfect husband only if the fireworks start with the flame of swipes. No one has time for real life nowadays.
The Internet has completely understood the assignment, making bodies the pillar point of attention. At first glance, social media may reflect the illusion of preaching self love. Ironically so, it has, in a short period of time, created an ambiguous relationship between said “self love” and the love received from your followers as in likes.
The 90’s thinness was the beauty standard that made the person fit in. In order to be accepted all the boxes had to be checked. Being thin was not only an aesthetic pleasure but the passport to an ultimate experience as a human. Everyone glorified, and still do, certain people due to their appearance. The effort made to modulate their bodies to the norms was respected and valued. No one doubts its authenticity. The rarity of the models has led to a certain admiration for the skinny lifestyle. And as Kate Moss once said “nothing tastes better than skinny”. When everyone used to buy magazines, watch TV, go to the cinema… it was for the veracity of the image. Never for the manipulative way of pursuing how a body should look like. The impact of the internet was lightened by the diversity of bodies in real life. Everybody used to perceive different body types. The real effect of the internet came right after the 90-thinness era.
This era is known for the BBL trend. The Brazilian butt lift consists in transferring the fat into buttocks without implants. It is one of the most dangerous and pricy surgeries ever known to mankind. Skinny bones are no longer welcomed. Social media wants shapes at all costs. Not everyone can afford the hourglass body modulation. That’s why this era is also known for the massive use of Photoshop. Free editing apps, photo filters, “Facetune” and many others… are not virus names. They refer to the denominations of the editing applications. The art of selling beauty by forgetting about the beast. A lot of digital services are encouraging this unattainable body type by allowing its users to alter not only pictures but also videos. Internet users became obsessed about a new version of perfection. All genders and all age ranges are concerned by this virtual race. The new emergence of AI that can predict how your older face can look like, and got backed up by scientists on its accuracy, created a wave of anxiety amongst young people. They are not supposed to see the reflection of their old selves in this timeline. This accentuated, even more, the fear of aging. We can even talk loud and clear about agism. The Internet is spreading the illness of body dysmorphia. This generation has known a lot of diseases, and Covid, doesn’t seem to be the worst of them.
“We change body trends like a girl changes her shoes”. Except that a “body” is not supposed to be linked to a trend. Hopping around from thinness to thickness. Adding, deleting and refining everyone’s morphology through online clicks. A simple use of the internet is assimilated to years of surgical medicine. In reality, the only winner from all this chaos is the virtual world. The Internet and social media feed people’s insecurities, mental health and create eating disorders left and right. But most importantly it gets them to spend their money on a false pursuit of happiness.
Ameni EL AMRI
M2 Cyberjustice – Promotion 2023-2024