Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Angel vs. Witch Skull— Why Are Nazi Eugenics Making a Comeback on TikTok in 2023?

wake up babe, gen z have just rediscovered phrenology

Ah, Gen Z and their avid obsession with beauty and perfection. The Zoomers, who were born between 1997 and 2013, are so hyperfixated on their physical appearance that they have accidentally rediscovered nazi eugenics and 19th century phrenology in the year 2023.

Over the weekend, Gen Z-dominated social media platform TikTok, has been inundated with videos about the “angel skull” and the “witch skull,” another pseudoscience-of-beauty fad that remind us to get the hell off of social media and spend more time touching grass.

According to several users on the Chinese video-sharing app, your skull shape is an important factor in determining your overall facial appearance and level of attractiveness. Apparently, having an angel skull, which is characterized by a slender face shape, a small, straight nose, high cheekbones, and a sharp, pointed chin, makes one more attractive than if they had a witch skull, which is associated with having a prominent brow ridge, a square jawline, a recessed chin, and a broad or large nose. And while for the most part, a cranium skull size is mostly genetic and cannot be changed, there are a few solutions to achieving an “angel skull,” which includes chin implants, rhinoplasty, and facial fillers in the jaw, forehead, and lips.

Holding no scientific merit, the idea that your beauty is based on the shape of your skull is a sketchy pseudoscience being upheld by “looksmaxxing,” a term that originated in online community 4chan by incels, that refers to making various efforts to improve your physical appearance and reach your maximum level of attractiveness. Looksmaxxing can involve anything from improving your skincare routine and going to the gym to getting cosmetic surgery and altering your facial features.

While associating attractiveness with the shape of the cranium is problematic in itself, it also enforces a worldview informed by racist science, also known as phrenology, a theory developed by Franz Joseph Gall in the 19th century that claimed psychological attributes were determined by skull shape. Unfortunately, phrenologists used this theory to promote the fallacious notion of intellectual superiority among white Europeans based on their skull structure, while implying that other racial groups were inherently predisposed to servitude.

In fact, Hitler and his cohorts were proponents of physiognomy and believed that one of the telltale markers that separated true Aryans from other races was the shape of one’s skull. During the second World War, nazis would actually use a head-measuring device to determine who lived and who died. Part of a larger trend of scientific racism, phrenology was also often used to justify slavery.

The younger generation has become so obsessed with their looks that the TikTok girlies are actually trying to yassify eugenics-adjacent framework and nazi pseudoscience in hopes that it confirms their beauty. Indeed, it’s truly disturbing that people are choosing phrenology during a time when real information is more readily available than any other time in human history, all for the sake of fitting into an unrealistic beauty standard.

In recent years, beauty has shifted into being more about biological advantage rather than having a grasp on how to use makeup, which is evident through the transition towards skincare, injectables, eyelash extensions, and eyebrow lamination. It’s no longer enough to make yourself look good, you have to wake up naturally and effortlessly beautiful, or be prepared to spend thousands of dollars on fillers and beauty treatments. And now it seems that this aspect of biological advantage is veering into repacked phrenology. All we can say is that we hope one day young girls everywhere will be able to free themselves from the shackles of the unattainable standards of beauty confining them.

Share this article

Related stories