Dangerous New TikTok Trend Horrifies Parents

By: Carissa Moore | Last updated: Oct 27, 2023

There’s another new trend that has taken TikTok by storm, and this one has caused ample concern for parents.  “Looksmaxxing” is a term to describe males who want to improve their physical appearance by any means necessary.

Individuals who yearn for a sharper jawline or burly muscles will go to extreme lengths to achieve their goals – even if it means partaking in dangerous “home cosmetic surgery” methods. Popular TikTokers have even resorted to a technique called “bone smashing,” where they hit themselves in the face with tools or other objects in order to change their looks.

The Bone Smashing Trend Originated on TikTok Last Year

The trend is quite alarming, and parents have been rightfully frightened of their teens harming themselves for the sake of vanity.


Source: justb1u/TikTok

The trend first surfaced in July 2022 when a TikToker named William Li posted videos repeatedly whacking his jawline in an attempt to give it more definition. The first video he posted was viewed more than 700,000 in nine months. However, it was a TikToker named James the Bone Smasher who catapulted the trend into prominence.


The TikToker Encourages Others to Hit Themselves With a Sledgehammer

It should go without saying that hitting yourself in the face over and over again is an unsafe practice that should not be emulated, but plenty of impressionable TikTok teens refuse to adhere to warnings.


Source: William_Li/YouTube

On February 20, 2023, James the Bone Smasher shared his first video depicting his alleged “Bone Smashing” technique. The caption of the video said, “If you aren’t bone smashing for 3 hours a day with a sledgehammer and getting Zygomatic gains like me then what are you even doing with your life?”

Is This for Real?

Just like anything on the internet, the validity of these “bone smashing” videos remains a mystery.


Source: starvemax/TikTok

Simply smashing oneself in the face will not create a definitive jawline, but anything is possible according to TikTok. It’s more likely that these TikTokers wanted to create a viral trend to become infamous and influential. With the advancement of AI and filters, people are capable of making themselves look however they want online.

The Frightening Trend Can Inflict Harm

Regardless of whether or not “looksmaxxing” is real, teenagers on X, formerly known as Twitter, love nothing more than following new trends.


Source: jordanbarrettmogs/TikTok

Many TikTokers have created bone smashing videos of their own, and while some poke fun at the obvious absurdity of the trend, others seem to be willing to try anything that will help them improve their looks. Young, vulnerable viewers may see these videos and assume that they are real, which is a dangerous reality that some parents have been faced with.

‘Mewing’ Came Before Bone Smashing

A trend called “mewing” appeared long before bone smashing ever existed. The practice surfaced in 2011 and it involves resting the tongue on the roof of your mouth to change the shape of your jawline.

Source: samm.zia/TikTok

This technique actually originated from someone with more credibility than a random teenager on TikTok. It was invented by British orthodontist Mike Mew, who published videos of his technique on his YouTube channel. Mewing became a trend in the mid-2010’s, with many teenagers and young adults posting clips of themselves trying the practice out themselves.


Specialists Have Spoken Out Against the Trend

Kyle Zagrodzky, founder & CEO of a company called OsteoStrong, has strongly advised against following these bogus beauty trends on TikTok.

Source: dixovic/TikTok

OsteoStrong, claims to be a “science-backed, research-driven program” that uses specific exercises to help increase bone density. “In a desperate and depraved effort to gain physical beauty and acceptance by others, people are willfully breaking the bones in their own face, believing that the bones will heal back in a way that makes them more physically attractive,” said Zagrodzky.


Doctors Have Also Discredited the Shocking Trend

Dr. Etan Sugarman, an orthopedic surgeon at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, recently debunked claims that “looksmaxxing” and bone smashing would change the shape of someone’s face.

Source: syrianpsycho/TikTok

He dismissed the TikTok trend as nothing more than viral deception, saying, “The idea that randomly breaking your bone will magically result in a more desirable cosmetic appearance, I think it is, at best, magical thinking. More likely than not…this will result in pain without any significant improvement in cosmetic appearance.”


Cosmetic Procedure Can Alter Physical Appearance

Despite TikToker’s claims, it is highly unlikely that taking a hammer to the face will result in a desirable aesthetic. Anyone who hits themselves in the face with a sledgehammer will only cause further damage to themselves.

Source: dillon.latham/TikTok

While TikTokers claim that they are capable of performing cosmetic procedures on themselves at home, there is nothing safe about what they are promoting. Only trusted cosmetic surgeons have the knowledge and training to sharpen jawlines and alter physical attributes, not uninformed strangers on the internet.


Leave it to the Professionals

While it’s true that plastic surgeons must break bones sometimes to change the appearance of certain facial features such as the nose, it’s important to note that they have years of education and training.

Source: joingebretsen/TikTok

According to Zagrodzky, “A bone that was previously broken but healed in the wrong way may need to be reset, or bone will need to be cut to prepare it for a prosthetic hip or knee joint to be implanted, and yes, plastic surgeons will sometimes break a bone in an effort to improve someone’s aesthetic appearance.”


Don’t Believe Everything You See

While most, if not all, of the “looksmaxxing” and bone smashing videos are fake, that still hasn’t stopped teens from copying them.

Source: gnak7/TikTok

Thousands of TikTokers have encouraged others to partake in these odd trends that will inevitably result in more physical problems than benefits. TikTok can be a dangerous place if you take everything you see at face value. Unfortunately, many teens aren’t wise enough to understand the repercussions of following crazy trends.


The Trend Should Be Avoided at All Costs

A plastic surgeon in San Francisco named Dr. Prem Tripathi came out with a TikTok video of his own advising against the dangerous bone smashing trend.

Source: superslumped2/TikTok

“I honestly never thought I’d have to come on here and say this, but please don’t intentionally break the bones in your face,” he said. “If you’re not given the genetics to have a [strong] jawline, unfortunately, you have to see a professional,” he added. It’s safe to say that this is one viral trend that nobody should try out.