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TikTok and the Overconsumption of Materialism

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Seo-Hyun Jun, Staff Writer

Photo//Public Domain/Pikist


TikTok has been the most popular social media platform since the COVID-19 pandemic has started. While being in quarantine, most people resorted to their smartphones for entertainment.


TikTok is still reigning its prime time. More people utilize the app as the ultimate resource for knowledge. Complimentary comments are to be found, such as, “I learn more on TikTok than I do at school” between adolescents and adults that consume new information from the media everyday.


However, practical and logical information is not the only thing the public consumes due to TikTok.


A Twitter user’s 2020 post. Photo//Anonymous

Recently, social media influencers such as Alix Earle and Emilie Kiser have a “chokehold” on young teenage girls who are now starting to enjoy makeup. Depending on the product she uses on a daily basis, a makeup company can either peak or experience a major decline in their sales.


Nonetheless, more Sephora and Target runs have been trending, causing an influx in the amount of products a store can hold. People track down which store has more products available, without considering that the commodity may cost hundreds of US dollars in one shopping spree.


If not makeup, there are more extreme purchases being made unanimously in the community due to the power of influencing. The majority are now subduing to the materialistic culture through designer bags, plane tickets, and even new cups, replacing the water bottles that they already have with Stanley Cups to follow the trend.


The trend itself is called the “It Girl” or the “Clean Girl” trend, where most women wear flare leggings and claw clips to pursue a cleaner fashion sense as the content creators.


While this is not a deficient change to society, the issue is that the youth nowadays are spending too much on $60 moisturizers during a worldwide inflation. This is not new either, as people have always enjoyed retail therapy.


It is an interesting and a remarkable update to our humankind and its cultural anthropology. On the other hand, growing adolescents feel the pressure to look a certain way to be considered “beautiful.” Similarly, adults experience an existential crisis, comparing their lives to the influencers thinking their lifestyle is too uneventful.


As a young woman myself, it is surely tempting to look and act like those who receive praises from the public. The importance of being self-aware to such culture is to know that there is no need to lose ourselves and become someone else only to blend in with societal standards.


There should be more influencers who promote being who we are and that our skin, in fact, looks great without foundation and concealer. The debatable question I want to ask is, “Is TikTok a healthy platform, or does it only form insecurities in ourselves?”

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