Equal Time Fall 2019

Page 24

Beauty Beauty

young woman scrolls through Instagram. Each picture she likes is of a different model, celebrity, influencer, or friend edited to perfection. Some photos show airbrushed skin and flawless smiles; others highlight slender legs and toned stomachs. Although the posts are all edited differently, each one shows a warped reality that strays further from the truth. Women experience constant pressure to show only the best parts of their lives and looks on social media. But although the obsession with perfection is still alive and well, it appears that social media users are editing their posts less extensively. This recent trend towards authenticity stems from influencers who believe that it’s important for audiences to see their honest selves. Carrie Dayton, a YouTuber with 346,000 subscribers and over 71,000 Instagram followers, emphasizes body confidence and mid-size fashion for women whose measurements fall outside of traditional model sizes. She strives to be as real as possible in all of her content. “I’ve obviously grown a lot in my six years on You22 | EQUALTIME FALL 2019

Tube, and being authentic and relatable is my #1 priority now,” says Dayton in an email. “Being told I’m real and relatable is still the absolute biggest compliment you could ever give me.” Often times, influencers feel the pressure to be perfect because they believe their audience expects more from them than from “normal” people. Jerusha Jacob, a student at the University of Cincinnati, thinks it’s important to remember they are only human. “It’s so important to remind everyone that no one is perfect, because I think we hold people with a large platform to such a high standard,” says Jacob through email. Dayton says that growing up, she did not feel that her body type was seen or represented. Now, she is striving to provide others with the representation that she didn’t have. “In high school, I only saw one body type in movies, magazines, TV shows, etc.,” says Dayton. “If I’d seen someone my size being confident and bold, I can’t imagine what it would have done for me. That’s what I’m hoping to be for my viewers now.”