Social Media Impacts Body Image

the effect pictures have on our self esteem

mckenna cole, Managing Editor

Today I stood in front of a mirror in the Forever21 changing rooms and couldn’t help but pick myself apart.

This has become almost routine for me, a habit; that every time I see my reflection I critique and criticize.

Body image is a person’s perception of the aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of their own body, it’s something I struggle with and I’m not alone.

According to a study by Girlguiding UK, the charity’s annual girls’ attitudes survey, published in 2014, found that girls are suffering from a crisis in body confidence.

The study suggests that girls as young as seven feel under pressure to be pretty.

So how did this happen? How did we get to this point. In today’s society, there is no denying that media has a significant influence on girls of all ages.

Whether it’s on instagram or in a magazine, we see photoshopped images of super thin models with perfect complexions, advertising something that is sure to make us feel “prettier” and “happier.”

The BBC also reports that, ironically, girls feel more pressure from their peers when it comes to their body, despite the fact that nearly all social media users alter their photos before posting them and yet forget this when looking at a friend’s post and comparing themselves.

So what can we do? How do we take control of the impact social media has on girls?

Well, it’s time we start investing in the subject. We will never be able to stop the glorification in media, but we can change how we allow it to affect us.

Body image and confidence isn’t something you learn about in school, or even a common conversation at home.

It’s time to start empowering young girls so when they face the media, they have the confidence to not be phased.