The beauty ideal in the age of algorithms

Whether you are on Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat, “The Instagram Face” is likely to fill up your social feed. Social media creates filters that allow us to rearrange our faces according to whatever increases engagement and likes. This leads to a homogenized beauty ideal; that of a young face, with poreless skin and plump, high cheekbones, catlike eyes, long, cartoonish lashes, a small, neat nose and full, and lush lips. The so-called Instagram Face isn’t only present online. Surgeons state that increasingly people walk in with pictures of themselves with social filters on to show how they wish to look like. 

And while many strive and succeed in having a “Instagram Face” (at least online), there is also a cultural counter movement against this curated perfection. As an antidote to this homogenized beauty ideal we already see large groups of Gen Z’ers striving for what they call: messy realness. They are embracing imperfection in the pursuit of authenticity. We’re curious to see if increasingly people will step away from the Instagram Face in favor of a more genuine form of self-expression.