Teen in denim jumper and white shirt takes a selfie 

The pressure to look a certain way comes from everywhere. It quietly creeps out from the pages of some magazines. It reveals itself in random comments from friends and family, however well-meaning they may be. It’s present at schools, in the workplace, on the streets, at home, and among your closest friends. The American Psychological Association defines “peer pressure” as “the influence asserted by a peer group on its individual members to fit in with or conform to the group’s norms or expectations”.

Among the types of peer pressure is positive peer pressure, which is when the pressure influences you to make a choice that pushes you to be your best while still appreciating your values. Negative peer pressure, on the contrary, can lead to poor choices and low self-esteem. While peer pressure is usually associated with adolescents, it can happen to adults, too. It’s not just teens who can feel bad about acne or weight, for example. These unhealthy beauty standards, unfortunately, apply to all. What can we do to address negative peer pressure, especially when it comes to beauty?

Recognizing Toxic Beauty Trends

There’s no need to follow all the beauty trends you see on social media.

Every now and then, a beauty trend would take social media by storm. Some are harmless, and some are not. For example, glass skin – which is inspired by a K-beauty trend – has its foundations on skin health. Skinimalism, which emerged in the past year, is all about the practicality of wearing minimal makeup and embracing natural skin. Curtain bangs are the new low maintenance “it” hairstyle and are the most harmless bangs can get. But with every cute and Instagrammable trend comes a toxic one that causes a lot of distress. 

Social media is just another platform that can amplify the effects of peer pressure, with a bigger circle of “peers” that you don’t necessarily know and don’t necessarily know you. When you start seeing trends like thigh gaps and bikini bridges, or even the seemingly innocent pore-erasing beauty filters everywhere, you can be triggered to think different things, from “I want to try it” to “Why don’t I have that?”

Recognizing that some of these beauty trends are toxic and unhealthy is half the battle. Calling out a toxic trend for what it is on social media — even with just a simple post about how much you love your skin or body as it is — is empowering and can help steer the conversation in the right direction.

Promoting Self-Care and Self-Love

Start building habits that make you love yourself more!

Rising above negative peer pressure is a huge responsibility that mainly rests on the individual. It takes a lot of self-confidence and a deep understanding of who you are. Take a stand and say, “I love myself, and I’m happy the way I am.” Getting to this point entails making both self-love and self-care a habit.

Self-care is defined as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health, well-being, and happiness.” Self-love, according to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, is “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual growth”.

There are different ways to take care of yourself with skincare being one of the many ways to express self-care that can lead to self-love. Small things like adding a pampering step to your routine, such as applying a sheet mask, can instantly improve your mood while nourishing your skin. POND’S Skin Brightening Serum Mask is a rejuvenating and brightening mask that can make your skin look well-rested in 15-minutes. After masking, use POND’S Skin Perfecting Cream for Well-Balanced Skin to hydrate and give your skin a dewy glow.

Boost skin's glow from within

POND’S Skin Brightening Serum Mask

Apart from skincare, actively advocating for self-care and self-love on whatever platform you have also helps. Remember, self-love is about supporting all aspects of personal growth, as well. When you help somebody, you help yourself, too. You can do this by using your platform, whether you have 80 followers or 8,000, to help other girls and women embrace their own beauty and love themselves.

Dealing with peer pressure wasn’t easy when you were a teenager, and it’s still not easy now. However, building a habit of loving yourself by taking care of yourself through good skincare routines and the like can give you the confidence you need.