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EXCLUSIVE: Abbie Chatfield Calls Out TikTok’s Toxic Beauty Trends

“They’re disguised as harmless fun, but the implications are severe."
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Oh TikTok, you know us so well. Scarily well, in fact. Seriously, our for you pages have clocked us better than our own parents. We’re constantly being fed videos on feminism, cute outfits and a bunch of Hank Green explaining science concepts – or, at least, this author is…  and boy does she lap it up.

But, just like any platform, we can’t deny there are some more toxic parts of you from time to time. And neither can social media star and activist Abbie Chatfield.

WATCH: Charli D’Amelio does the TikTok face symmetry challenge

Recently, a trend has been going around TikTok in which teens are using an inverted filter to gauge how symmetrical their faces are. Ahh yes, that’s just what we needed… another beauty standard to reach, because the bar wasn’t high enough apparently?

TikTokers, largely young women, are watching their faces flip back and forth horizontally as Olivia Rodrigo’s déjà vu plays in the background (the song being a banger won’t distract us from the fact that this trend is toxic).

As they look in the camera, the teens will either celebrate a symmetrical result or lament any signs of asymmetry.

One of the top videos of this description is by the most followed TikToker, Charli D’Amelio, who simply captioned her footage “#inverted”. The video has currently garnered over 23 million views and nearly three million likes.

Charli’s comments section is flooded with awestruck and impressionable users pointing out the 16-year-old’s symmetrical features.

“how are you that symmetrical” read the top comment, with around 92,000 likes.

“you are so symmetrical” the second most liked comment stated.

“she’s so symmetrical wow,” read the third.

Similar videos are gaining the same sort of hype, with users commenting things such as, “the symmetry is immaculate”, “my face is way too uneven for this”, “HOW DO I BECOME SYMMETRICAL” and so on.

charli damelio
TikTok’s latest symmetry trend is making teens revere symmetrical features. (Credit: TikTok)

The TikTok trend has gained such momentum that it has jumped platforms and sparked a conversation on Twitter.

“just tried the symmetry TikTok challenge for the first time and erased the app” one dejected Twitter user wrote.

“nothing has ever humbled me like the TikTok face symmetry filter” another penned.

“yk i was fine w my face and my nose until i tried the symmetry trend on tiktok and realized how unsymmetrical my face is, never showing my face ever again.” a third admitted.

One even warned their fellow users not to buy into the trend, writing: “just did the inverted face symmetry thing on tiktok and the only thing that I have to say about that is – don’t do it.”

Another user replied to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet where he asked his followers to define beauty, writing “Well if tiktok has taught me anything it’s 110% about symmetry.”

symmetry tiktok
This beauty standard disguised as a trend is having negative implications on people’s self-confidence. (Credit: Twitter)

So yes, while first it was Instagram telling us that flat tummies and thigh gaps are the ideal, now TikTok has fostered yet another beauty standard for us. Thanks bestie!! We didn’t ask!!

It’s clear to see that no matter the platform, social media will always find a way to prey on our insecurities. And if there is one person who understands the scrutiny of social media, it’s reality star, podcaster, and activist Abbie Chatfield.

Known for her open discussions about body positivity, sexuality, feminism, and more, both on Instagram and TikTok, Abbie is no stranger to social media – nor to the toxicities that come with it.

Being a keen user of TikTok herself, the I’m A Celeb queen even acknowledges that some of the platform’s trends can be problematic, especially when they are packaged up in a neat little bow of “harmless fun”, enticing young people to get involved without understanding the potential repercussions.

Abbie Chatfield
Abbie Chatfield is calling out TikTok’s latest toxic beauty trend. (Credit: Instagram)

“These trends on TikTok are so awful and toxic, and it’s hard to not want to participate myself,” Abbie tells Girlfriend exclusively. “They’re disguised as harmless fun, but the implications are severe. Every few days there’s a new beauty standard to try to live up to.” 

While a simple solution would be to get off social media, it’s just not realistic. Plus, we shouldn’t have to miss out on all the good things the internet provides – i.e. Hank Green getting down to Gas Pedal – just because of these damaging beauty standards always cropping up.

So rather than crawl into an offline ball and miss out on our daily TikTok serotonin boost, it looks like we’ll have to face the inevitability of social media being a daily part of our lives and figure out how to maintain a healthy relationship with the platform instead.

As someone whose life revolves largely around social media, Abbie has given tips with regards to maintaining a positive body image while being constantly subjected to scrutinising trends – starting with curating our feeds to benefit us in the best way possible.

“I think the biggest thing is cleaning out your feed to not envy-follow anyone. Follow accounts that educate you and uplift you.” Abbie suggests. 

“I understand this is harder on TikTok with the algorithm feeding you trends. So, when you see these trends, my best advice is to try to remember we all look different.”

Abbie Chatfield
“I think the biggest thing is cleaning out your feed to not envy-follow anyone. Follow accounts that educate you and uplift you.” Abbie suggests. (Credit: Instagram)

Abbie goes on to preach self-love, which is a hard message to take in when it’s being consistently drowned out by deafening social media beauty standards, but nonetheless, it’s an important one to absorb.

The It’s A Lot host tells Girlfriend: “As cliché as it is, we all have a different genetic makeup that makes us who we are.

“You’re never going to look like anyone else and trying to achieve that will not only magnify your own insecurities, but it will also waste time and energy that you could be spending on learning to love yourself.

“There is nothing wrong with thinking YOU are the beauty standard. You have no idea how others see you, and you’d never speak to your best friend the way you speak to yourself.”

Abbie’s final message is a reminder that, as is the nature of social media, beauty standards are ever-changing and so we are wasting our energy trying to keep up with them.

“The goal posts change constantly for who we want to look like,” Abbie says, “So instead of waiting for your turn to come around, do your best to get comfy in your skin, say your affirmations and grant yourself permission to love what you see in the mirror.”

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