Anna Answers

Does social media enforce female beauty standards?
Anna Answers

As social media usage increases, questions like these have become more prevalent. For many people, apps like Instagram, TikTok, or maybe even facebook are used daily. People are starting to notice possible ramifications of overusing these platforms. As someone who has implemented social media in my everyday life I would say yes, social media pushes unfair societal beauty standards onto women. Online platforms can be extremely detrimental to one’s self esteem. Constantly being exposed to fabricated, edited and filtered photos makes feeling naturally beautiful nearly impossible.

There are clear expectations for how a girl should look on the internet, if you do not fit the conventional definition of beauty, such as a skinny figure and perfect skin, users will not hesitate to let you know. On nearly every popular post featuring a woman, handfuls of hateful comments will follow, no matter their appearance or platform. Why does every girl have to fit into an impossible standard to post online? Comments like these force girls to think they always have to look their best to cater to the internet’s gaze—and by extension, society.

“People make sure they look their best on social media…I do think it has increased our constant need to wear makeup and make sure our clothes look good,” stated Liliana Verzani, 25.

Sometimes makeup does not seem enough to please the masses, which is why many girls have found themselves turning to apps like photoshop. These programs provide everything from facial slimming to teeth whitening, assisting girls in altering their photo and erasing any “imperfection” they see in themselves. They do this for validation and positive commentary about their appearance online.

“You get to a point where you think you have to look like that, like ‘oh I’m fixing my appearance,’ I think it shouldn’t be done,” Verzani said.

Constant exposure to fabricated images has shown to take a toll on young women’s confidence. A study from Center 4 Research showed leaked documents revealing that one out of every three girls developed a negative body image due to the usage of instagram. This is due to comparing themselves to filtered and photoshopped posts. 

“If you are constantly seeing these people that are defined as perfect, it definitely affects mental health,” said Kennedy Dostal ‘25.

Social media is at fault for ruining many females’ confidence. A study from Psychology Today has shown that teens who reduce their social media usage by just 50% significantly improve their self-esteem. When we are feeling low about our appearance, we often seek validation from others, which is why people feed into comments and likes. The question is, why are we letting strangers on the internet dictate our worth? 

The problem with the beauty standard is it erases individuality. Social media pressures us to erase everything that makes us unique. Why are we all expected to fit the same standards? When the internet forces these expectations onto people, they strip them of their individuality. Individuality is what makes us beautiful; we should get rid of these societal standards. 

In response to the question at hand, “does social media enforce societal beauty standards?” I say: Yes, it does.

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