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Social Media Has A Negative Effect On Body Image And Self Esteem

1455 words - 6 pages

Social media has become one of the most popular sources of communication for the upcoming generation. For young people growing up in today’s society, social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have provided pictures and news that have become the first thing that their eyes see in the morning and the last thing that they see before bed. These pictures have provided unrealistic standards as to what is considered beautiful in today’s society. As young people refer to these images as a form of comparison, it has created harmful circumstances. These influences on the lives of young people have forced them to take extreme measures and in some cases, has been the cause of death. Social media in today’s society has proven to have a negative impact on the way young people, specifically females, view their bodies. Unrealistic beauty standards, dangerous comparisons and disorders have all been a result to the increase in social media and the impact that it has on the lives of young people.

To begin, social media has created unrealistic standards for young people, especially females. Being bombarded by pictures of females wearing bikinis or minimal clothing that exemplifies their “perfect” bodies, squatting an unimaginable amount of weight at a gym while being gawked at by the opposite sex or of supermodels posing with some of life’s most desirable things has created a standard that many young people feel they need to live up to. If this standard isn’t reached, then it is assumed that they themselves are not living up to the norms or the “standards” and then therefore, they are not beautiful. The article Culture, Beauty and Therapeutic Alliance discusses the way in which females are bombarded with media messages starting at a young age. On page 81 of this article, Carneiro et.al (2013) states that the idealized women in today’s society are “ white, slim, helpless, young, feminine, and submissive.” (p. 81) These standards are clearly represented in social media. From accounts on Instagram that encourage things such as thigh gaps, unhealthy fitness standards and sexual encounters, it’s engrained in the brains of young people that they must look like this in order to be successful and desired. This article also discusses the way negative standards are represented through things such as Barbie Dolls, which surrounds young females with unrealistic expectations and creates and idealized standard that is in fact, not ideal. (Carniero, 2013, p. 82) From the standards that are created through today’s social media, it has created it a new subculture and for some people, a new way of life.
Due to the increase in popularity of social media, today’s generation is bombarded with unrealistic standards when it comes to beauty. When young people today first turn on their cellphones, more often than not, they refer to a social media site. Whether it’s the ever-popular Instagram, where people can post pictures and followers can “like” to show their...

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