Gen Z’s Obsession with Anti-Aging: The Dark Side of Social Media Influence

20 December 2023

Teens and young adults are going to extreme lengths to preserve their youth, influenced by social media and internet culture.

In the age of social media, where likes and popularity reign supreme, it’s no surprise that Gen Z, the youngest members of our society, are obsessing over anti-aging. From slathering on serums to getting “baby Botox,” these young individuals are going to great lengths to prevent the signs of aging. The influence of social media platforms like TikTok has fueled this obsession, with hashtags like #antiaging, #botox, and #wrinkles amassing billions of views. However, this pursuit of eternal youth raises concerns about the impact of social media on young girls and the pressure to conform to beauty standards.

The Toxic Influence of Social Media:

The prevalence of social media platforms like TikTok has created an environment where young girls constantly compare themselves to their peers. The pursuit of likes and validation leads them to seek a competitive advantage in the race against aging. One disturbing example is a 14-year-old influencer who has been refining her anti-aging routine since the age of twelve. Her regimen includes SPF 50 sunscreen, apple cider vinegar pills, harsh retinol creams, and even taping construction paper to the car window to avoid sun exposure during road trips. This obsession with anti-aging reflects the toxic nature of social media, where beauty is often prioritized over other qualities.

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The Growing Trend among Zoomers:

It’s not just one teen; an increasing number of Zoomers are investing significant time and money into preserving their youth. Makeup brands targeted at young women, such as Glossier and Elf, have expanded their product lines to include expensive Vitamin C serums and retinol creams, known for their anti-aging properties. Zoomers are even resorting to using anti-wrinkle tape on their faces, believing it will prevent lines from forming. Some are even opting for “baby Botox,” receiving small doses of the muscle relaxant to freeze their muscles and prevent wrinkles, despite not having any yet. The willingness to spend up to $1,000 per appointment showcases the extent to which they are willing to go to preemptively combat aging.

Expert Advice and Concerns:

However, most experts caution against starting anti-aging treatments too early. Doctors on TikTok have been vocal about the potential risks and advise against premature interventions. Dr. Chris Tomassian recommends starting retinol for anti-aging in the late 20s at the earliest, while Dr. Mundeep Shah suggests waiting until the mid 20s to mid 30s for Botox. The question arises: where does this obsession end? Dr. Amanda Hanson expresses concern about the long-term consequences of starting anti-aging procedures in one’s 20s, wondering how far these individuals will go in their battle against time and nature.

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The Perpetual Battle Against Time:

Gen Z, as digital natives, has been curating their social media personas since their tween years. Initially, they emulated young adult influencers, copying their makeup looks and outfits. However, as these influencers have aged and started sharing their own anti-aging routines, Zoomers are now desperately trying to look younger. The popular aging filter on TikTok, which shows users their future wrinkled selves, only adds to their anxiety. These young individuals, who once idolized influencers, are now victims of the digital age, constantly comparing themselves online and succumbing to new insecurities.

Conclusion:

The obsession with anti-aging among Gen Z is a reflection of the toxic influence of social media and internet culture. Young girls are trapped in a perpetual battle for likes and popularity, constantly discovering new insecurities online. The pressure to conform to beauty standards and the fear of aging at a young age robs them of the carefreeness of youth. As society grapples with the consequences of social media, it is crucial to address the impact it has on the mental health and self-esteem of young individuals. Only then can we hope to foster a healthier and more balanced relationship with beauty and aging.

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