Opinion: “It Girls” Need to Stop Being the Beauty Standard


Saahir Mawani

Alix Earle is a social media influencer on TikTok with 3.9 million followers. She makes lifestyle-oriented content, consisting of “get ready with me” videos as well as vlogs of her day.

As I scroll through my TikTok feed, I notice my “For You” page filled with my preferred content, ranging from Taylor Swift edits to Family Guy clips accompanied by slime videos. Recently, I have received an influx of videos surrounding TikTok’s newest “it girl,” Alix Earle. “It girls,” according to Oxford dictionary, are “young wom[e]n who have achieved celebrity because of her socialite lifestyle.” While I personally appreciate rotating new people within social media’s spotlight, Earle is just another fish in a sea of girls that have risen to fame for no meaningful reason.

Earle rose to fame in December of last year, going viral for her “get ready with me” videos. Once her niche content went viral, Earle began experimenting with her content style by posting more lifestyle-oriented content. In a month’s time, Earle gained over 1.7 million followers on TikTok, and has over a million views on each video she has published since Dec. 5, 2022. 

This is not the first time TikTok has created an “it girl” who blew up in months. Others included Charli D’amelio, Addison Rae and Loren Gray. Each of their rises to fame were equally as quick as the hate that commenced soon after. 

If you observe the similarities between D’amelio, Gray, Rae and now Earle, you may notice that all of them are young, white and objectively have a skinnier body type. Both D’amelio and Rae became the beauty standard for young girls in 2020. Meanwhile, Gray has been one of the most followed female creators on the platform, dating back to when the name of the app was “Musical.ly.” 

As a result, many teenage girls wanted to look similar to these influencers. Once D’amelio and Rae both released their respective beauty lines, Item Beauty by Rae and Morphe 2 by D’amelio, each sold out instantly. While this can be an inspiring example of young women working in entrepreneurship, it did not change the fact that women of color who have smaller businesses have not yet achieved the level of popularity that warrants an instantly sold out launch. 

While Earle has yet to release her own beauty brand, that hasn’t stopped her from selling out many products designed for women of color from numerous beauty retailers. On Dec. 12, 2022, she released an updated makeup tutorial, showing her essentials for the iconic “Alix Earle look.” Some of the most notable items that she made popular were the Drunk Elephant Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, white eyeliner and darker shades of the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer to use as contour. 

The concealer is known to have many inclusive shades in their line, as well as being extremely affordable for all budgets. With Earle mentioning the use of the darker shade as a contour, many fair-skinned individuals have been running to their local drugstore to buy the product because “Alix uses it.” This not only takes away something dark-skinned women use daily, but also furthers the idea that dark complexion products are created mainly to serve to make lighter skinned women look more “bronzed.” 

Though these videos and new “it girls” will keep coming, viewers of these lifestyle content creators need to look beyond what is shown on their feed. As a content consumer myself, I hope for more realistic body types and skin colors being represented on social media. Luckily, celebrities such as Lizzo, Blake Lively and Selena Gomez have created an overwhelmingly safe space for people that aren’t a size 00 or use the shade “Fair.” This new age of social media has ushered in a hopeful wave of body positivity, and I can only hope to build a wider community.