Social media is an asset to most average teenagers as it creates a desire to live a perfect life. However, apps such as Instagram and Tik Tok have also instilled some unrealistic beauty standards for teens. Social media negatively can affect a person’s body image by exposing idealized body types and flawless lifestyles. Teenagers can be pressured to fit in with society’s expectations, which can lead to unhealthy behavior such as eating disorders.
Typically, people only want to present themselves to the world in a positive manner, which is why many influencers tend to try to erase their imperfections before posting a photo or video online. At times, people take hundreds of photos just to get one right picture while later adding filters and using Photoshop.
Teenagers want to be viewed in the best light possible by their peers, but by using photo editing apps, teens create a distorted reality. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be seen in a positive way, however, it is harmful to young teenagers to feel unsatisfied with their appearances.
Young girls are especially likely to be patronized for how they look. Girls are often pressured by society to look a certain way, such as being skinny or having a “natural” appearance. But they can also be questioned for looking“too skinny” or “anorexic” to the media, skinnier girls are told to eat more. No person should comment on horrid attributes of a person’s body, and when girls see hate comments, this causes young girls to develop an obsession with maintaining an unrealistic body image.
Teenage boys similarly are pressured to look more masculine. Social media ads with bodybuilders who have large muscles on the cover promoting protein bars or deodorant, set an unrealistic body image for young teenage boys.
There is a misconception that women are the only demographic that deals with body image.. Teenage boys are self-conscious about their own bodies as well, and although girls tend to be targeted the most, boys are also having issues with their images which should not be disregarded.
Although popular Instagram pages such as @marianodivaio and Tik Tok influencers such as Charlie Demalio do not have bad intentions to promote harmful beauty standards, instead these influencers portray a perfect lifestyle that many teens find desirable. As influencers continue to live spectacular lives, teens take a liking to the lifestyles and tend to compare themselves to social media celebrities. Iit is important for teens to take a break from social media especially if it makes them feel belittled.
Taking a break off of social media and unfollowing influencers who play into a teen’s insecurities will give teens a chance to understand their own bodies. Teens tend to take various photos of themselves by adding a filter to hide their insecurities, but in the end, photos put onto social media platforms do not matter. As teens grow into adults, photos posted on social media will not matter for how you look, but rather the memories they picture will.