Technology and social media have opened many doors for our society; the possibility to connect with people all over the world and communicate effortlessly.
However, like everything in life social media has its negative aspects, such as feeding young adults unrealistic beauty standards represented online. Influencers who have all been under the knife are promoting and posting their lifestyles and workouts for the “perfect body” reinforcing these unrealistic concepts of beauty.
Ads preach inclusivity and “being natural” yet new face and body-altering apps are uploaded daily with the same plumped lips and slim waist features all being consumed by vulnerable tweens and teens who set these are their beauty standards. Undoubtedly all this has had an impact on our generation’s self-image and this needs to change.
The first time I became aware of the significance that physical appearance plays in our society was the day I discovered Instagram. Immediately upon downloading and opening the app a list of celebrities was presented under “featured” which I blindly followed as a naive 13-year-old.
Shortly after, my algorithm was filled with beautiful models, fitness plans and skincare products. I was consumed with the idea of looking and posing exactly like them as I saw the compliments and attention they received online. However, with every diet or new beauty product I tried which promised “immediate results” and “flawless skin” in their description, I was unsatisfied. I found temporary happiness in the likes and comments received under my Instagram pictures, but that was not the solution.
Now six years later I realize platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and now TikTok are not intended to show our most authentic self and to summarize: everything on it is fake. What we see on our screens are perfectly sculpted men and women which in reality are actually the final product of finely crafted photoshop and face-tune images.
The danger of it all is the impressionable youth who consume these images and ads on a daily basis, using them as a measure to compare themselves with. I find that it is important to further support “authentic marketing” using “normal” people and disregard editing apps to exemplify that beauty is a spectrum and does not comply with a set of criteria or standards. Social media has manifested itself into our society and day-to-day life irreversibly but we must now learn to manage and use it adequately, finding beauty away from our screens.