Social media has created unrealistic expectations of beauty standards and body image for teens worldwide. The constant access and varied social media platforms have made teens believe their self-worth is solely based on their appearance.
Ask a teen!
It is common knowledge that bathing-suit selfies get more “likes’” than other pictures. What message does this send?
Social media encourages teens to constantly compare themselves to others. Many influencers have gone on record and shared the candid truth that social media doesn’t always or often accurately represent the truth.
Many teens’ perceptions of their appearance can become distorted, negatively affecting their mental health. Social media typically highlights all that is good and under-represents the very real struggles that teens face.
In addition, social media doesn’t afford teens a chance to get away and recharge. They are always “on.” Teens grew up with social media and advanced technology has had a detrimental impact on the way teens see themselves.
Social media is filled with photos of what their bodies “should” look like but the issue is the “perfect” body that teens are striving for is unrealistic. According to justsayyes.org, 75 percent of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating.
Society tells teens that in order to fit in or be loved they must be thin or muscular when that is far from the truth. More often than not, teens engage in high-risk behavior when they feel like they can’t measure up to an impossibly high standard.
These standards are being encouraged by social media and we have to do more to change this conversation as it is having a negative impact on today’s teenagers!
Editor’s note: Allie Rem, a sophomore at Guilderland High School, wrote this as part of a “real news” unit in Brenna Autrey’s English Class.