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Industry • Perspective

Beyond Glossies: How Social Media Brought More Styles to the Masses

The democratization of media has increased the accessibility of beauty information, style inspiration, and diverse representations.

While the internet can be a wild West experience, social media has also managed to do a lot of good. By democratizing how we share information, social media has allowed individuals all over the world to communicate with each other in unprecedented ways. In the beauty space, this has made it easier for style pioneers to gain recognition for their visionary looks while simultaneously allowing all kinds of people to find, appreciate, and learn from them. Let’s look at the good work social media has done in bringing more styles to the masses.

If you see it, you can be it

One of the most powerful mottos of the current moment is comprised of two simple words: representation matters. Social media has amplified styles, looks, and aesthetics that haven’t traditionally gotten a lot of airtime in the mainstream media world. By making it possible for all kinds of people to build their own platform, social media has made it easier for like-minded people to find and connect with each other online. In turn, mainstream media has been forced to evolve to keep pace with that democratization; glossy magazines have started to learn from the successes of creators of all races, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. In the end, we’re left with a more diverse media landscape that is inclusive and accessible, allowing anyone to see themselves in the content they consume.

Inspiration through globalization

Social media has also empowered people to expand their cultural horizons, whether that means finding inspiration from people halfway across the world, or connecting with people who look like you when you just don’t feel like you fit in where you live. Exposure to other cultures and traditions is an important part of the human experience (but so is understanding the difference between appreciation and appropriation). And for individuals who feel removed from their community or their lands for whatever reason, social media makes it just a little bit easier to interact with cultural touch points that feel like home.

Learn straight from the source

Beyond providing inspiration and connection, social media has also democratized education. What better way to learn about a particular hairstyle, makeup look, or skincare product than from the people who invented it? So many elements of the beauty industry originate in far-flung corners of the world; social media empowers creative people of all kinds to celebrate the processes and the history behind the aesthetics. A killer look may be the first thing that captures your attention while you’re scrolling through your feed, but many influencers and creators also take the time to talk about the inspirations and traditions that inform their work. From specific style tutorials to the history of a hairdo and the agricultural systems that get a specific ingredient from the source into your skincare product, social media functions as a beautiful virtual classroom that gives credit where credit is due.

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