Too Beautiful: The Social Media Beauty Cult
This documentary examines the link between social media sites that emphasize appearance with a growing incidence of anxiety, depression, and anorexia.
The film features commentary from a psychologist, a sociologist, a philosopher, a former anorexic and a female rapper. The latter has become a strong figurehead in the movement to promote natural, “self-determined” beauty standards.
All agree that women have been dissatisfied with their bodies for generations. Social media sites like Instagram tap into these insecurities by promoting a “new normal,” in which all users must look like supermodels to be rewarded with clicks, likes and emojis.
The video goes on to explore new social media sites devoted to women’s body building cults; the ubiquitous trend to portray women as objects of desire in advertising (remember “sex sells”); and the vicious online attacks directed against women who achieve public prominence in previously male-dominated fields (eg journalism, search, and government. The online attacks directed at these women are always sexualized in a way that dehumanizes them and belittles their appearance.
Typical comments they get include “You’re ugly,” “You’re fat,” “No one would want to fuck you,” and “You must suck in bed.”
Sociologically this phenomenon to relates to a mistaken belief promoted by right wing media that girls and women have “taken over” and that women are better educated and better off financially than men.