November 29, 2018

What does beauty mean in the social media age?

Becky Gillan


In the social media age, our beauty ideals are constantly evolving with every click and scroll yet they largely remain rigid and conformist.

We live in an age where plastic surgery procedures are becoming more commonplace than ever, an age where we are constantly being pressured to buy into the advertising campaigns of corporations who believe that using models of various ethnicities is an ‘inclusive’ standard of beauty.

But what does beauty even mean?

In Scotland, pale skin is often plastered with fake tan and a curvaceous figure is desirable whereas in China, dark skin is all too commonly smeared with bleaching creams and curves are often be labelled as ‘fat’. In a world where no beauty standard appears to be universal it seems impossible to draw conclusions as to what exactly defines the perfect aesthetic.

In this personal essay, I explore the development of my understanding of varying beauty standards between Scotland and China.


Title of essay: What does beauty mean in the social media age?: A metamorphosis of a mindset.