Iceland has a peculiar obsession with Facebook groups. Think about it: with a population of around 330,000 it’s not unreasonable for a group like “Vegan Ísland” to contain literally every vegan in Iceland (for the record, there are nearly 13,000 members) or for “TRAPLORD$$$” to have all the, uh, Icelandic traplords (3,000). From “Besti Bitinn?” (“the best bites,” in English) to [name redacted because it’s the group people sell drugs in], in this new series we’ll dive into the murky world of Iceland’s Facebook groups… so you don’t have to.
If you’ve heard of #freethenipple or the sexual violence awareness campaign #þöggun, then you’ve already tangentially touched on the monolith that is the “Beauty Tips!” Facebook group. The group contains about 33,000 girls—there’s a separate 13,000-strong group for women over 30—or, one sixth of Iceland’s total population. That’s right: one sixth of Iceland’s population is in the Beauty Tips! group. This group has klout.
Beauty Tips! was started in 2014 by Áslaug María Agnarsdóttir as a forum to talk about, uh, beauty tips. And while members still post questions about makeup, hair, and clothes, the group has grown to encompass a lot more. The #þöggun movement—where women changed their profile pictures to put their experiences with rape and sexual assault in the limelight—started out as a Beauty Tips! post. The group has also become a base for discussions about #freethenipple, the Slutwalk march, and other “feminine” issues. Beauty Tips! Is sort of like a supportive girly haven—it’s always there when you want to talk about periods, fuckboys, or mascara.
Even the Grapevine itself has had a few brushes with Beauty Tips!. After we published our scathingly titled concert review “Fuck You Justin Bieber,” the article was posted on Beauty Tips!, where hundreds of commenters put in their two cents, most of them angry. We were accused of everything from being bitterly jealous of the Biebs’s talent to just being unqualified to write music reviews altogether. But it didn’t faze us—we live under the mantra “Haterz make u famous.”
Today, Beauty Tips! is probably the largest Facebook group in Iceland. There’s still a lot of quality content, but recently I’ve found that there’s been an influx of “Like if your fav is Kim! Heart if it’s Khloe! Wow for Kourtney!” style posts. I’m not a big fan of those—I mean, who would pick anyone but Kim?
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