Beauty TikTok Is Obsessed With The ‘Visual Weight’ Archetype 

The latest beauty trend to sweep across TikTok sees people trying to determine the “visual weight” of their face. 

The trend joins the growing group of popular online archetypes that people can define themselves by. From Kibbe body types to colour seasons and enneagrams, there are never-ending ‘types’ to identity with.

Like other online archetypes, your determined visual weight type comes with a set of guidelines for how to make the most of your type. According to beauty content creator, @princessraquelle, people have either a “high or low visual weight” and your type will “impact how makeup and clothing looks on you.” 

There are already thousands of TikTok videos and blog posts offering “beauty tips for high visual weight” and “makeup for low visual weight”. People with high visual weight are usually instructed to enhance their features with bold makeup looks while people with with the opposite are supposed to stick to softer, more natural styles.

Determining your visual weight involves a rather complicated set of steps which see you take photographs of your face and apply filters to them. The idea is that if your face looks clearer in a high contrast then you have high visual weight or sharper features, and if it looks clearer in low contrast then you have low visual weight or softer features. 

While the concept can be fun to play around with and perhaps even help those stuck in a makeup rut, there’s also something more uncomfortable about our obsession with these archetypes.

Whether it’s our colour season, Kibbe body type or visual weight, finding our unique archetype always promises to give us the glow up we’ve always wanted. Once we know our type, everything is supposed to fall into place—suddenly we will know what jeans to buy, what colours to wear and how to always make our makeup look good.

These types continue to be so compelling because they are the dream of that a-ha! moment that will finally help us feel good about ourselves.

Visual weight archetype
Archetypes can restrict joy, exploration and creativity.. (Credit: Getty)

Visual weight comes from the design industry, where it’s used to understand image compositions by measuring how much impact each element of an image has—whether it stands out or remains in the background. 

Of course, this means that visual weight wasn’t developed to be used as a beauty technique or something measure our very changeable human features by.

In fact, all of these archetypes forget that beauty and style are deeply subjective.

Your visual weight might guide you towards natural makeup styles when heavy lips and smokey eyes are what bring you joy. Likewise, your colour matching analysis might steer you towards deeper hues when putting on white linen brings you an unmatchable sense of calm. Our features shouldn’t dictate what beauty and style we’re allowed to try.

At the end of the day, do you want to be a dramatic natural winter, enneagram five with high visual weight or do you just want to be you?

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