Social media has changed the face of the sweetness industry and it’s not just a superficial makeover or a passing trend which will be forgotten by next year’s catwalks.
The rise of user generated content and recognition of platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have transformed the way people mention beauty and their attitudes towards it.
People post 350 million photos on Facebook and 80 million images on Instagram a day . If an image is worth thousand words then… well, that’s tons of word
People enjoy posting pictures on social media that boast their makeup skills and artistic prowess, whether it’s preparing for a Saturday night out or something a touch bit more special like Halloween.
But we are now seeing a cultural shift where the important thing isn’t the precision and perfection of the makeup itself, but people’s desire to subvert expectations, fiddle with traditional makeup looks (illustrated by the #maskmonday phenomenon) and explorations of gender fluidity.
Thanks to influencers like Ugly Worldwide and Danny Defrietas, and brand campaigns like ASOS Face & Body, and therefore the explosion of interest in funky face masks, creative expression in beauty is becoming more about having fun and making the foremost of your unique look – quirks and every one – rather than showing off your artistic makeup skills. within the world of social media, it’s flair and fun that grabs people’s attention, not perfection.
The beauty industry has long been talking about body positivity and self-acceptance, but only within the age of social media has it begun to recognise that the private is additionally political.
Spurred on by people’s changing attitudes towards what constitutes ‘beauty’ and therefore the democratising effect of social media, the rhetoric round the beauty industry has finally begun to maneuver into an area which is genuinely about activism and a radical celebration of identity.
With the digital age seeing an enormous shift within the balance of power faraway from brands and towards consumers, people also are using social media to form a difference to people’s lives and therefore the way the sweetness industry works, all the way from supermarket shelves to the catwalk.
Disrupter brands and influencers are tackling a number of these issues head on. Makeup brand Glossier makeup and influencers such Callie Thorpe and Tess Holliday have radically challenged traditional beauty standards, while Fenty Beauty and Freddie Harrel’s Big Hair No Care represent a step change within the way during which women of colour are catered for and represented.
While the masses of post-workout snaps on Instagram might cause you to think otherwise, the way we treat our bodies is moving from a mantra of ‘push yourself’ to stressing the importance of ‘knowing yourself’, and we’re starting to see social media evidence that documents this shift.
We’re starting to realise that beauty and holistic well-being aren’t almost products and workouts, but about actively planning rest and downtime. there’s more to taking care of yourself than exercise, and this concept is gaining significant momentum on social media channels.
Arianna Huffington’s #SleepRevolution, our new-found obsession with mattresses and apps to trace our sleep, mood and hormones, and skincare brands with integrated sleep-enhancing products like Kiss the Moon (all of which have a robust presence on Instagram) point to the thought that beauty isn’t solely about physical effort. Rather, it’s about going to know the ins and out of our individual biorhythms, an emerging trend that has been reflected and encouraged by social media.
The democratising effect of social media means everyone are often a beauty expert lately.
Beauty tutorials are all the craze and you’ll barely scroll an Instagram feed without stumbling across a video explaining the way to get the right ‘smoky eye’.
At an equivalent time brands just like the Ordinary and Neutrogena make expert skincare products and devices at affordable prices, and consumers have access to expert diagnosis and treatment because of tech products like HiMirror.
We are witnessing a shift from only having access to exclusive techniques and tutorials to a real technical democracy. Social media has provided the toolkit for this phenomenon to occur – because of online videos and a positive, ‘sharing’ culture, beauty expertise and its surrounding technology is becoming available to all or any .
The concept of ‘masculinity’ has been seen as simply an add-on of the products available to women within the beauty industry. But increasingly, men are adopting a sort of care regime tailored specifically to their needs instead of male versions of feminine beauty treatments.
Digital and social media platforms are aiding this transformation: as was the case with the expertise space (above), the democratisation of data means men have better and wider access to information and products concerned specifically with masculine needs.
Zero Skin, MMUK and Brickell are all brands with a robust digital presence which understand that male ‘beauty’ may be a much bigger space than many of us recognise, creating products which look set to rework the male care regime.
At an equivalent time we’ve seen a cultural shift in men using social media especially to precise their needs and emotions more openly (see Professor Green and Freddie Flintoff’s views on male mental health).
As a result the sweetness industry’s combat masculinity are going to be far more multi-faceted within the future.