How TikTok Is Creating A Healthier Space In An Age Of Self-Scrutiny


From showing off over-hanging bellies to simply saying “you’re normal don’t worry”… TikTok has entered the building for the best app for body positivity and a happy mind. In 2020 the UK was drafted into an unknown lockdown with a lengthy road to normality ahead of us. During the pandemic, TikTok became a virtual crutch for many people; a hub for numerous global trends.

The app launched in the UK in 2017 and has since boomed in popularity with no doubt why it has grown such a huge platform. TikTok succeeds by creating a personalised feed for each individual user. It produces a tailored experience targeted to your own interests and beliefs. There is a whole host of accounts with varying focuses so that you can find your niche.

Yet why should you consider TikTok the superior app? Despite the typical flaws you would expect from any popular social media platform, TikTok has created safe spaces for many different groups of people.

I was eleven when Instagram was developed and kickstarted the constant online competition of who’s life was better. A repeated battle of young people posting what they hoped would capture only the best aspect of their lives. That has only rapidly grown as Instagram influencers earn a hefty living from portraying an idolised, airbrushed lifestyle. I favour TikTok for its realness and the ability for people to gain popularity through personal strengths and likeable traits as opposed to imagery alone. The UK TikTok scene boasts multiple influencers who have built a following by advocating for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Florence ‘Flo’ Simpson (@florence.simpsonn) is one of multiple UK influencers on the app who has achieved an impressive following through the promotion of self love and worth. Flo currently has 613.4k followers who she uplifts and educates on a daily basis. Within her content, the ethos of her bio ‘love the skin you’re in’ is heavily articulated. Her topics range from her weight, body hair, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and general life.

Emma Matthews (@emmamatthewsxxx) is another user with an impressive 291.7k followers. Her bio is ‘focus on the shape of your mind’, centralising her content on eating habits to normalise bigger bodies and healthy relationships with food. I feel a strong connection to powerful women using a platform to promote good. Social media is so easily accessible to young people and it’s a breath of fresh air to know that they may stumble upon content that empowers and instils confidence.

Emma and Flo are just two UK TikTok role models, yet the list can go on. There is a whole host of confidence promoting accounts with no pressure, no negativity and absolutely no judgement. Tiktok taught me that everything I once hated about myself is completely normal. I now consider my stretch marks and cellulite normal additions to my body – attributes I was once conditioned to be ashamed of. Despite the comedic value that TikTok is known for, it has undoubtedly begun to infiltrate the online space once reserved for only a specific, ideal body type.

Words by Anna Farrer

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