Fuck the ‘lockdown glow-up’!

Illustration shows a young person looking happy and dancing. Flying around him are scissors, a comb and a razor.

My name is Muzzamil Rasully and I am a young ambassador at The Mix. I am a 17-year old teenager who would like to study medicine in the future and I have volunteered in this charity hoping to make a difference.

AHHH!! Here we go again: with appearance, trying to impress and trying to flex on other people based on their looks. Everyone knows lockdown is slowly but surely being eased as we speak, so what does that mean for teenagers?

Well, it means that now they can finally get the nails that they wanted to get, get that trim that makes them look 10/10, etc. However, what people don’t realise is that all of this is very toxic. Let me get into more details.

Haircuts and clothes have no effect on the inside

Promoting and encouraging people to get a haircut can be good. It makes a person look clean and very presentable, however shouting on social media and expecting all the boys to have a good haircut while wearing certain clothes can have a very negative effect on some boys or girls. It makes them feel insecure and assume that they are not good enough without certain clothes or a certain haircut.

No clothes nor haircut can ever change the inside of a human and whatever is inside is what makes a person beautiful, not on the outside.

Many personal instructors are promising people a ‘lockdown glow-up;’ a chance for us to emerge like a butterfly with perfect abs, and for the girls, a peachy bum.

Now this is Very Very Very wrong.

No one can have perfect abs!

Exercising to help when you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed and for a more peaceful and healthy life is one thing, however seeking a perfect body is another. These online personal instructors promise a “perfect body,” however as a society we need to accept that eerie body is “perfect.” It can be chubby or skinny, but however it looks, we NEED to accept that every body is perfect.

Abs are attained through very strict dieting, not six minutes of exercise per day, so don’t let these online personal instructors trick you into wasting your money on these courses, because it may seem simple but it’s very hard. That’s why even a lot of bodybuilders don’t have a six pack.

This idea of getting perfect abs after lockdown is very unrealistic and unattainable. Instead, what people need to focus on is having a healthy lifestyle; one which you feel comfortable and amazing in.

Why fuck the ‘lockdown glow-up’?

The weather is getting hot, which means there are going to be thousands of people at the beach with shirts off, because, as we know it, “sun’s out, guns out.”

But what if you don’t have those “guns?”

As a South Asian, personally I don’t possess those “guns,” which means I don’t feel comfortable taking off my shirt in public and I know I am not the only one; many people feel the same way. Beautiful women and men are going to be on the beach, which again unfortunately means you have to look good, and how do you do that?

Well, simple, just have a ‘lockdown glow-up.’

Now be realistic, how ridiculous does that sound?

Very, right?

Well that is exactly why I am writing this article, so my fellow teenagers and anyone reading this article don’t feel like society is pushing them into this corner of having a ‘lockdown glow-up.’ As a South Asian, I say we just fuck the ‘lockdown glow-up,’ and instead focus on our own life and how to be healthy, especially in this pandemic.

South Asian problems

Hairy bodies like wolves.

Long hair, loose on the forehead.

Beards at the age of 12 and due to this lockdown, the beard game is way beyond strong.

This is what it is like to be a South Asian in this dreadful lockdown. Due to this lockdown, not only are our body hairs out of control but also our bodies themselves. Once a South Asian lets themselves go, there is no turning back. Like I mean no turning back at all. There are no more u-turns, apart from the belly building up. The regret will also build up inside us day by day and this could be true for many people.

So to say, let’s have a ‘lockdown glow-up’ is like selling fake dreams to those who are really desperate for it. Within some cultures within the South Asian community, people cannot get a haircut as they are forbidden to do so.

Imagine this, you’re not allowed to cut your hair or any part of your body whatsoever, yet society is encouraging an idea of ‘lockdown glow-up,’ which suggests that we need a good haircut and beautiful skin and expensive clothes to give us that ”drip.”

How would you feel if you were in their shoes?

Seeing everyone achieving their ‘lockdown glow-up.’

But you cannot.

Would you not feel isolated and lonely?

So before we make another new trend or an exaggerated idea because we are bored, let’s take into account how other people might feel.

Yet again I urge people to think carefully about whether this ‘lockdown glow-up’ a good idea.

If you need some support on this issue

For more support on coping with the pressures of lockdown, visit The Mix’s coronavirus hub.

You can also read The Mix’s article on coping with an eating disorder during lockdown.

Take a look at Rachel’s article on the pressure of losing weight during lockdown.

Next Steps

  • Beat help people overcome eating disorders through helplines, online support and self-help groups. Call 0808 801 0677 or, if you're under 18, call their Youthline on 0808 801 0711.
  • Eating Disorders Support has a telephone helpline with 24/7 answer message service and email support for people with eating disorders and anyone concerned about them. Call on 01494 793223.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.

By Holly Turner

Updated on 10-Aug-2020