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Tiktok trend created by incels: This looks amazing

Tiktok trend created by incels: This looks amazing

This phenomenon is called lookmaxing and originally came from incel forums, but nowadays it's everywhere on Tiktok.

It involves men giving each other advice on, for example, whitening their teeth or getting a good skincare routine. There are other more extreme methods such as plastic surgery or hitting the face with a hammer to make the cheekbones more prominent.

-Part of the look consists of self-developed Incel styles that have now gone viral on social media, says Lisa Katie.

There are also apps dedicated to this phenomenon.

“You post your photo and receive an AI-generated description of what you can improve on in appearance,” says researcher Lisa Katti at Stockholm University, who has long studied Incel culture.

Ratings appear

In the mid-2010s, websites were created where incels discussed and evaluated each other's appearance. The goal was to give each other an honest picture of what could be improved. The goal was to look good enough to break out of his involuntary celibacy.

– They post a picture of themselves on forums and are rated on a scale between 1 and 10, where everyone who is 4 and under is considered ugly.


Lisa Katie believes there is a risk that young people who engage in plastic surgery could end up being drawn into more extreme environments.

-It could be a gateway for sure. If you start paying attention to lookmaxxing related content, it's easy to end up in some of the larger forums and then on to the more extreme incel forums.

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In a British study published at the beginning of the year, researchers studied, among other things, attractive appearance on the TikTok application. It was then found that users who followed this trend after a period of time recommended more misogynistic content.

– We don't know much about how algorithms work, but we do know that the step from looking dazzling to harsh environments is not far away, says Lisa Katie.