The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Op-Ed: Looksmaxxing isn’t entirely a joke

Seniors+Luke+Doudna+and+Vansh+Gupta+practice+mewing+in+their+free+time.
Cindy Cui
Seniors Luke Doudna and Vansh Gupta practice mewing in their free time.

In the digital era where TikTok trends and Instagram reels reign supreme, a new self-improvement concept has taken root, especially among teenagers. “Looksmaxxing.” A term that might draw a chuckle or an eye roll at first mention, however, before we dismiss it as just another internet joke, let’s delve deeper. This trend, popularized largely by young men on social media, mirrors the same self-improvement trends of manifestation, crystals, and spirituality that have captivated young female audiences. And guess what? It’s thriving right here at CVHS.

Looksmaxxing, at its core, is about enhancing one’s appearance through various means – be it skincare, fashion, fitness, or even posture. It’s akin to the concept of “mewing,” a practice focusing on improving jawline definition through specific tongue positioning techniques. On the surface, these might seem trivial or fodder for humorous content on social media. Yet, there’s an underlying message that’s both meaningful and positive: guys embracing the journey of self-care and self-improvement.

Mewing is used to help with natural face recomposition to create a more defined jawline and features.

In a world where gender norms have historically dictated that men shy away from extensive self-care routines, looksmaxxing stands as a vehicle for introducing self-care. It encourages young men to invest time in themselves, breaking the mold of traditional masculinity. Even with it largely being treated as a joke, high schoolers, especially at CVHS, are increasingly engaging in this trend which inadvertently and undeniably creates a gateway for more open-mindedness and comfort towards these concepts. 

But why compare it to the spiritual and manifestation movements popular among young women? Both movements, although different in their approach, essentially promote the same message: personal development. Where young women use crystals and positive affirmations, male youth are turning to looksmaxxing as their tool for personal transformation, even if under the guise of ironic humor.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s essential to recognize that, despite its unserious undertone, looksmaxxing is not just about looking good. It’s about feeling good. When a person feels confident in their skin, it reflects in their demeanor, their interactions, and their overall well-being. By embracing a trend that enhances their physical appearance, young individuals are also boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

Moreover, the trend is inadvertently breaking down harmful stereotypes. It’s showing that self-care and the desire to look one’s best aren’t confined to a single gender. In doing so, the “frivolous” trends of mewing or jaw exercises are fostering a more inclusive environment among youth.

While this may have all started as an internet joke, the impact of looksmaxxing goes beyond the laughs. It represents a shift in how young men view self-care and self-improvement — a positive, empowering, shift that’s worthy of attention. So, the next time you come across a looksmaxxing video on TikTok or Instagram, remember: it’s not just about the aesthetics. It’s about a generation that is redefining self-improvement and breaking barriers, one skincare routine, fitness plan, and silly “can’t talk, I’m mewing” at a time.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Upstream News
$150
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Carnegie Vanguard High School. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs and fund field trips, competition fees, and equipment. We appreciate your support!

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cindy Cui, Opinion-Editorial Editor
Cindy Cui is a senior at CVHS. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for her friends and family. On the weekends, she also enjoys playing tennis at night and trying new coffee shops around Houston. Her favorite coffee shop is Grinders! Some other things she enjoys doing are shopping for makeup and collecting keychains. 
Donate to Upstream News
$150
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Upstream News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *