Celebrities’ body trends’ toxic influence on youths

In the dynamic world of media and entertainment, the definition of an ideal physique has continuously developed, creating and redefining societal beauty standards. 

Nigeria, like many other countries, has seen an increase in body trends among celebrities, which have a significant impact on their audience, particularly impressionable youth. 

From Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) to facelifts and Botox treatments, the pursuit of a specific look has become a dominant influence. The early 2000s saw a boom in the global fad of becoming ultra-skinny, with many celebrities striving for a waif-like appearance. 

However, in recent years, a paradigm shift has happened, with curvier silhouettes becoming the new ideal of beauty. Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL) have become extremely fashionable, with celebrities publicly discussing and even getting these procedures to improve their curves.

Facelifts and Botox treatments have also become popular as people seek to combat the natural ageing process. The media’s portrayal of faultless celebrities frequently adds to false beauty goals, which may lead fans and adolescents to explore comparable operations.

Celebrities play an important role in moulding society norms, and their physical modifications can have a significant impact on their fan base, particularly the youth. The pressure to conform to these ideals can have a harmful influence on self-esteem and physical appearance. 

Many young people may feel compelled to change their bodies in order to fit in or meet the perceived standards of their idols. For example, the rise of social media has led to celebrities displaying their nearly ideal bodies, creating the illusion that these standards are attainable and desired. 

This can exacerbate fans’ vulnerabilities, creating a culture in which bodily changes are viewed as a way to earn acceptance and validation. How then, can we prevent our youths from succumbing to ‘fake’ beauty standards?

One, promoting body positivity and acceptance is critical for demolishing false beauty standards. Celebrities that advocate for accepting one’s own natural body, warts and all, can be strong role models.

Second, educating young people about the manipulative nature of media images and the frequency of picture editing can help them develop a critical mindset. Understanding that the images portrayed may not accurately reflect reality can help to mitigate media effect.

Equally, creating an environment in which discussions about mental health are normalised is critical. Young people who are dealing with their body image should have access to support networks, such as counselling services or community groups.

Several Nigerian celebrities have spoken out against unrealistic body ideals, serving as constructive role models for the kids. Actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington, for example, promotes self-love and frequently uploads unfiltered photographs to demonstrate sincerity. 

Similarly, media star Tolu Oniru-Demuren, commonly known as Toolz, has been outspoken about embracing her curves, challenging the concept that only certain body types are attractive. As body trends in Nigerian media emerge, it is critical to recognise the potential harm they might cause in the impressionable minds of young people. 

By developing a culture of body positivity, increasing media literacy, and offering mental health care, we can help young people resist the temptations of conforming to unattainable beauty standards. Positive role models in the celebrity world can have a significant impact on  influencing cultural attitudes regarding body image, fostering a healthier and more accepting mindset for future generations.

Al-janat Firdous Mohammed is NYSC member serving with PRNigeria