Looksmaxxing: Is anyone talking to Gen Alpha boys?

Published: 9-Apr-2024

The TikTok trend covers everything from spot treatments to bone smashing as boys try to 'maximise' their looks. Yet the beauty industry is still ignoring them

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This article was originally published in the Male Grooming Trend Report. Receive your copy here.

Looksmaxxing’ is a TikTok trend that has captured the attention of younger Gen Z and older Gen Alpha boys, with billions of posts sharing common tips on how to 'maximise' their  appearance.

From body hair removal to spot treatments to hair loss prevention, looksmaxxing videos also lean into the viral ‘mewing’ trend: tongue exercises aimed at improving the jawline, and ‘chad facing’, a practice that involves contorting the face to exaggerate the cheeks, jawline and chin.

While the looksmaxxing ‘look’ – an aspirational ‘goal’ characterised by ‘hunter eyes’ with a positive canthal tilt, hollow cheeks and an angular jawline – has now become a meme, where it becomes problematic is that looksmaxxing content can also lean into darker extremes.

Videos detailing far more drastic measures to ‘improve’ appearance, such as ‘bone-smashing’ (using hammers to make the jaw more angular), steroid use and plastic surgery to increase ‘sexual market value’, can easily be found.

For many boys, social media videos will form some of their first experiences with personal care and grooming.

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