Warning: A concept that originated with incels has broken containment and is rapidly spreading on TikTok.
“Looksmaxxing,” which the incel wiki describes as “any attempt at improving one’s appearance,” originated on PSL forums and can include anything from making dietary changes, working out and adopting different grooming habits to more extreme practices like steroid use or plastic surgery. Looksmaxxing.com tells potential looksmaxxers, “Given the vast amount of benefits associated with being attractive, it is incredibly important that you try and maximize your appearance as much as possible,” and this is the driving belief behind the movement — that, and the belief that looking better will make it easier to get laid, obviously.
No longer simply the purview of users of such illustrious forums as PUAhate and Lookism.net (Elliot Rodger, the man responsible for the 2014 Isla Vista killings, was a frequent user of PUAhate), the concept of “looksmaxxing” has spread to TikTok, where users are sharing “hacks” with their followers in order to improve their appearances.
@dillon.latham 4 ways to Look better ⁉️#dillonlatham #selfimprovement #looksmaxxing #modeling ♬ 9am in Calabasas (Slowed + Reverb) - adrian
One TikToker, Dillon Latham, prefaces his video by saying that his model friends, from whom he got these tips, are told to gatekeep such information, because “they” (it’s not clear who the “they” in question is) don’t want average people knowing these tips, as it will make them look significantly better, thus devaluing the entire modeling profession, I suppose. His four tips include “maxxing out your hair” (i.e., getting a perm or using hair products and tidying up your eyebrows and eyelashes), working out, using skincare products and having a low body fat percentage. According to Latham, “If you do these four things, you’re going to look like a model.”
This ignores the fact that millions of women already do all of these things because they’re required to in order to be taken seriously in a society that determines women’s value based on their appearances, and yet, millions of women still do not look like Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss.
@noahglenncarter This filter is supposed to determine if youre attractive #foryou #filter #canthaltilt ♬ Epic Music(863502) - Draganov89
A more unusual fixation within looksmaxxing is something called a “canthal tilt,” which apparently describes the angle between your inner eye and your outer eye. If the outside of your eyes is angled upward relative to the inside, you have a positive canthal tilt, and if it’s angled downward, you have a negative one. Fortunately, there’s a TikTok filter that can tell you which you have. Still confused? Don’t worry, because it literally does not matter.
This video from @phiziqu is the only video on looksmaxxing that you need. His tips are simple: Keep your tongue at the front of your mouth, shove your face into iced water every morning after waking up, constantly squint, giving yourself “hunter eyes” at all times “just in case a female even glances in my general direction,” don’t move your eyebrows, apply retinol every two hours, don’t express emotion, use dermal needling and hair oil to stimulate hair growth and get colored contacts.
His video may be a joke, but it honestly does highlight just how much of “looksmaxxing” is based around encouraging men to adopt practices women have been doing for decades, if not longer. Next up: men getting BBLs?