Glow Down, Glow Ups


Chloe Pullman

By Chloe Pullman 
Podcast Editor

 For so many of us, this past year has been very strange, overwhelming, and full of change. Our lives came to an abrupt pause and we were suddenly forced to sit with ourselves and our never ending cycle of thoughts. This time has caused a lot of people to look at themselves in a way they haven’t before. This year the term “glow up” has been used more than ever. Urban dictionary defines glow up as “an incredible transformation,” or “to go from the bottom to the top to the point of disbelief.” People who become more “attractive” gain a lot of attention on platforms like Tik Tok. The COVID-19 lockdown resulted in a surplus of exercise equipment purchases, online challenges and routines, and diets.

Exercise is a healthy way to move around while we are at home, and is something that is mostly encouraged for everyone. Although exercise is a great thing to do and keeps you healthy, there is a line that has to be drawn between healthy exercise, and a promise that if someone exercises everyday they will turn into a new person in two weeks. The pressure to “glow up” and become an unrecognizable person when quarantine is over can be very damaging to one’s self esteem. 

When looking up the word “glow up” the most popular related searches are, “how can I instantly glow up?”, “how do I become pretty?”, and “what age do you normally glow up?” Yes, exercise is a fantastic thing but only if you are realistic about your expectations and are doing it for yourself not for the approval of someone else. 

Chloe Pullman sits at the computer obsessing over her self-image, the photo symbolizes  the dangers of glow-ups. 

So many popular workouts circling the web at the moment such as Chloe Ting’s “Get ABS in 2 weeks!” The video, which currently has over 3 million views, is not exactly realistic for many people. Doing this workout can be good for your body if done correctly, but will probably not give you abs in two weeks unless you are also on a strict diet and also exercising literally day and night in addition to these videos. If you don’t get abs in two weeks while following this video, viewers may understandably feel defeated and no longer motivated. A comment on Ting’s video that stood out to me was, “who else is doing this workout and trying to get skinny now because they failed the first quarantine?” This kind of thinking is very self deprecating. You simply cannot fail a quarantine, and those who feel the pressure to change their bodies or lives are receiving the wrong message.

The most important thing to keep in mind during lockdown is to keep yourself and those around you safe. Just because the world is changing fast, does not mean you have to change. The standards being shown to all ages all over social media aren’t real, and for the most part are unattainable. “Glowing up” is not important. The only thing that matters is making yourself comfortable in whatever way feels best for you.