In a world full of Facetune, Photoshop and Instagram, social media has become a catalyst for cosmetic surgery and dangerous diets.
Although social media has numerous benefits, for instance, a great percentage of influencers can now work full time doing what they love because of the internet, it’s quick and easy to drop someone an email rather than write a letter, and students from all over the world can probably agree that Snapchat stories are always a great thing to watch back the morning after!
What isn’t so great, is the effect that social media can have on someone’s body confidence and even their mental health.
I hear and read tweets everyday about ‘Instagram models’ and how ‘amazing’ they look. I’ll admit, the girls who I follow on Instagram are all beautiful and inspiring people, but when I see tweets from young teenage girls especially, saying how they will never be a size zero, and how it’s unfair that the influencers who they follow have super smooth skin and shiny hair, that concerns me.
We all know how easy it could be to take a photo, and if you don’t like the look of it, do a little editing, smooth the skin, cover the pimple, brighten the hair, slim the waist and smooth the cellulite, and then there you have it, an image that what some would perceive as ‘perfect’.
I know that 99% of us can be self-conscious when posting on the internet, even I am most times. The reality is, that we’ve become so obsessed with tiny bodies, no cellulite and glowing, smooth skin, we don’t want to post anything that shows any ‘flaws’ that we believe we have.
When I was growing up, I was surrounded by magazines and would always look at the models in Vogue and question why I wasn’t that tall or why I wasn’t that thin. When in reality, I’m an average height and a healthy weight and body size. There was nothing wrong with me but I still thought that I needed to go on a crash diet to look like the models that were covering front pages because I too, wanted to look ‘that good’.
Now that social media is quickly taking over print publications (cries), I can’t even imagine what I would be thinking as a teenager if my feeds were filled with tiny, tanned, long haired, travelling the world girls. I’d probably feel inferior, and unfortunately, that’s how a lot of teenagers are feeling. In some cases, teenagers want to change their whole look, and I’m not against that if someone is genuinely self-conscious, but if it’s coming from what they’re seeing on social media, then that saddens me.
The purpose of this post was to briefly address the ‘perfect’ look that we see everyday. I’m in no means trying to create negative connotations for anyone on social media who edits their photos. What I am trying to say, is that teenagers should be teenagers and should have fun growing up, rather than wanting to change their looks and body, and that although aspiring to be successful is great, we shouldn’t aspire to be unhealthy. For instance, our body structures can have a huge impact on the way that we look. I know one girl who had very little body fat, but was upset that her hips were wider than she liked, but that’s your own body structure, something that no matter how hard you work in the gym, you can never ‘burn’ off.
Overall, what you need to remember is that YOU are beautiful, and that you should live each day in the best way, enjoy your life, treat yourself from time to time, and don’t aspire to be anyone else, just aspire to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Note: I specifically focused upon females in this post, but am aware of the consequences that social media can also have on males. If you’d like to read a post regarding males, then please let me know.