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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Why are kids worried about their jawline?

Makenzie Miller

Beauty trends have always been a thing. Ranging from using insanely expensive skin care products to sucking on cups to make your lips look bigger, there have always been various ways people have attempted to look more conventionally attractive. 

Even throughout history, for example, in the Middle Ages it was attractive for women to have a big forehead, so many women would pluck their eyebrows and eyelashes completely. Another example used in the Victorian era was the practice of purposely getting tapeworms, so they would grow inside of a person and eat some of the host’s food, making women skinnier. And then there were women in Ancient Rome that would buy gladiator sweat to use as face cream. 

“Looksmaxxing” is the newest addition to these kinds of beauty trends; however, it has gotten severely out of hand. At this point, the next time I see my 5-year-old cousin, she’ll have a jawline that could cut diamonds. 

While I make this joke, looksmaxxing is commonly pushed more toward men and toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is the idea that men should be strong, emotionless and rough. If you’re chronically online like me, then you probably know about “alpha chads” and the idea of being the most strong, most successful and most angry people alive who attract many mates. So you can probably assess that these two go hand and hand, and you will often see looksmaxxing being talked about in conjunction with toxic masculinity. 

There are many different ways to start looksmaxxing, which is defined by looksmaxer.com as “a process of maximizing one’s appearance through various methods, both natural and artificial.” 

Some of these are beauty tools made to strengthen your jawline, such as using a gua sha to smooth out your face and avoid wrinkles. Gua sha stones actually stem from China as an ancient medicinal practice for massage, but now they’re popular in America, so you can look like an alpha chad. Great. 

One of the craziest things I’ve encountered online was “bone smashing,” which is exactly what it sounds like. You take a hard object, such as a hammer or rock, and break the bones in your face so that they heal “better.” Talk about going from zero to 100. Please don’t break the bones in your face. 

Online courses have become huge in looksmaxxing communities, including a course called Mogwarts. No, I am not kidding; there is a crossover of Harry Potter and looksmaxxing. The name stems from the looksmaxxing term “mog,” meaning someone is more attractive than you. Where did that even come from? What is the word mog? Why is this seriously a thing? Anyway, sorry, almost started crying, Mogwarts is an online course that is supposed to teach people how to start looksmaxxing, going as far as to even give their students homework. 

That is just the tip of the iceberg, but every time I explain a different way on how to looksmaxx, an angel loses its wings. Instead, I am going to talk about how harmful this is for anyone but specifically for children. 

Beauty standards can be harmful in general, and the fact that they are continuously changing can make it even more upsetting and all-encompassing. Being “conventionally attractive” has meant entirely different things throughout history, from body types to facial features to the way you are supposed to dress. Forcing these standards is extremely harmful to children as they push themselves to be what’s considered beautiful this week. 

Looksmaxxing is no different and definitely is up there for being potentially dangerous. Children should not be worried about how their jawlines look or if they have “hunter eyes,” and it is ridiculous that this kind of content is even pushed toward children.

In addition, attempting to get kids to sign up for expensive (and useless) online courses is extremely predatory. In case you are even thinking about it, do not sign up for that online course, especially if it’s just from a random person online or a celebrity who has no actual credentials. 

I suggest watching Kurtis Conner’s video, “I Tried ‘Looksmaxxing,’’ where he actually tries a lot of looksmaxxing techniques for a week and really showcases how incredibly stupid this trend is, while being entertaining and hilarious. 

Looksmaxxing has become something of a meme, and it should. The techniques and ideals surrounding it are so silly, and the majority of them have no research backing them and will have almost no impact on the way you look. 

Instead of being so focused on making weird faces in the mirror or not being able to eat so you don’t break your mewing streak, maybe just play your favorite video game, talk to your friends or—better yet—touch grass. 

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About the Contributor
Makenzie Miller
Makenzie Miller, Illustrator/Designer
Makenzie Miller is an animation major and a first-year illustrator on The Sunflower. She is from Eureka, Kansas, and enjoys not only art but also cartoons, video games, softball, and literally any type of animal. She hopes to one day be a storyboarder/concept artist for an animation company.

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