Social media is a scam


Julia Moser

Digital illustration depicting women with a variety of body types.

Julia Moser, Managing Editor

Remember when you were little and you would play with your favorite Barbie doll? What was her body type? She was skinny. We viewed her as the ideal girl. We saw her as perfect, so we wanted to be her. Ever since we were young, we have grown up with this image of what we are supposed to look like in the back of our minds. We try so hard to fit in, to be considered normal. We want a flat stomach, skinny waist, pretty face, small thighs and more.

I have struggled with my appearance. I know others who have struggled with their appearance, as well. Girls everywhere battle with their image.

In fact, according to a Fox News survey, 96 percent of teenage girls say they would like to change their physical appearance if they could.

While men also encounter body image issues, the majority of the issue is pushed on females. What makes all those characteristics the standard for teenage girls?

The answer: social media.

Social media has bred young women to be insecure. Young women struggling with their appearance has been an issue long before the internet. However, it has been exaggerated immensely since the boom of social media. When you scroll through your Instagram Explore page, you see the perfect, most beautiful girls. They have not a single flaw — everything about them is simply gorgeous. They seem to have everything going right for them; they seem popular, liked by everyone and most importantly, they fit the mold of the perfect girl.

The desire for acceptance is a basic human instinct. We all want to fit in, to belong, to not be the outcast. In order to achieve that, we often change ourselves. To be slightly different is honestly terrifying in the eyes of a teenage girl.

When all the role models and influencers we see on social media look perfect, there is no doubt a normal girl is going to question her self-worth.

The truth is, it is all photoshopped, unrealistic and ultimately fake. Yet, we constantly find ourselves wanting to be something that is not real. Why do we strive for such unrealistic standards?

I believe the answer is to be liked. Perhaps to impress a boy. Boys want a picture-perfect girl. The media is subconsciously brainwashing young males to think girls need to look like models to be considered beautiful. If you do not look a certain way, you are not pretty. If you are not skinny, then you are not considered “hot.” The media has vastly accentuated a false stereotype of teenagers.

My question is why? Why do we care so much about what other people think of us? The constant beauty standard we are so eager to have as girls destroys us. The negative effects social media has on young females is absurd. Social media has convinced teenagers that having stretch marks, acne or cellulite, is gross.

Taking everything into consideration, girls find themselves extremely self-conscious.

Girls, you have been given this body for the rest of your life. You do not get another body for yourself. If you do not love your body, take care of it and love yourself, then no one else will. Remember who you are because that is the best, most beautiful version of you. You are more than what a guy thinks, what social media thinks or what anyone else thinks. In the end, you are beautiful in every way possible, so own it.