THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

The TikTok shop takeover

Do you have low-vision or high-vision weight? Do you want to stop the aging process? Are you “deer pretty,” “cat pretty” or “fox pretty”? Does your hair hair? Do you want that Pilates Princess aesthetic? A Stanley Cup can help with that or what you need is a Lululemon sculpting jacket.

These very niche references may not be familiar to some but those who do recognize these strange phrases understand the absurdity of them. Companies are constantly telling people that they need a product for their lives to feel fulfilled or to be beautiful. There is no such thing as a Pilates princess or any of these silly micro identities, none of these faux references exist outside social media.

Before the introduction of mass media, the beauty industry was worth around $9 billion. After social media was introduced, the beauty industry’s net worth skyrocketed to almost $530 billion. For both men and women alike, the majority of our insecurities have been fabricated by an industry that profits off of men and women hating themselves. Don’t waste your money on the newest skincare holy grail.

For a long time, TikTok has been an app for people from all walks of life to gather and express their creativity through 15-second-long videos. Lately, TikTok has come into an era of hyperconsumerism, no matter where you look there is an alarming amount of advertisements.

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If you have scrolled through Tiktok then you have noticed the new feature on the app where there is a section dedicated to selling products. It is not only the TikTok shop feature that has created this overwhelming feeling of disconnection between the TikTok user and their feed. It is how almost every TikTok video is disguised as an ad.

Generally, we are aware when advertisements are targeting us, we understand that they are coming from a major corporation and we have justified skepticism for that reason. Now big companies have started to find their way around that through influencers, companies pay influencers like Mikayla Nogueira $30,000 and she’ll make a video recommending that company’s product to her audience but even then people were still aware of it being sponsored.

TikTok shop gets rid of any sort of skepticism originally had, it makes it possible so that anyone can promote anything. This gets rid of the us versus them mentality between companies and regular people because now there is no way of knowing who is “them”. This sneaky method makes it incredibly difficult to tell whether a person on the app is giving a genuine review or if they are solely promoting a product for money.

People don’t need the “perfect” Pacsun jeans or the Beachwaver curling iron, they just feel more influenced into buying it because a normal girl their age is recommending it to them. The separation between consumers and advertisers grows smaller and smaller. TikTok shop has turned society into advertising by promoting excessive consumption. While originally the idea of the TikTok shop was great, it made it much easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to promote their products and make a commission, it has taken a dystopian route.

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About the Contributor
Michelle Lovera, Opinion Editor
Michelle Lovera is a junior at Hart High School. This is her first year in journalism and she is currently the Opinion Editor for the newspaper. She serves as the Vice President of the Hart English Honor Society. Outside of school she enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends and baking. Michelle's favorite artist is Lana Del Rey.
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