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The impact of social media’s unrealistic beauty standards

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By Nishika

Body insecurity due to social media has become a prevalent issue in today’s society. The pervasive use of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook has contributed to unrealistic beauty standards and heightened self-comparison. People often find themselves constantly bombarded with images of seemingly perfect bodies, flawless skin, and curated lives. This consistent exposure can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a distorted self-image.

Social media platforms are breeding grounds for carefully selected, filtered, and edited photos that don’t represent reality. Many users post images that highlight their best angles, flattering lighting, and edited appearances. This creates an unattainable standard of beauty that individuals may feel pressured to meet, even though it’s often unattainable without the help of photo-editing apps and filters.

Comparing oneself to influencers, celebrities, and even friends on social media can also contribute to body insecurity. Constant exposure to idealised bodies can lead to a negative self-perception, as individuals may perceive themselves as falling short of these standards. This can lead to a range of negative emotional consequences, including anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia.

To address this issue, it’s essential for individuals to practice media literacy and critical thinking. Recognising that social media often presents a filtered version of reality can help diminish the impact of unrealistic beauty standards. Moreover, curating one’s social media feed to include diverse body types and realistic representations of beauty can positively influence self-perception.

Social media platforms can also play a role by promoting authenticity and body positivity. Implementing features that encourage unfiltered and unedited content can help users feel more comfortable in their own skin. Additionally, fostering open conversations about body image and mental health can break down the stigma surrounding these issues and provide much-needed support.

In conclusion, body insecurity fueled by social media is a pressing concern. The curated nature of online platforms, the pursuit of validation, and the act of constant comparison all contribute to negative self-perception. By practicing media literacy, promoting authenticity, and fostering open conversations, we can work towards mitigating the detrimental effects of body insecurity caused by social media.

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