How is social media affecting our confidence?

Showing the happiness of Instagram rather than the branding, beauty and success.
Photo from SUBU Summer Ball showing happiness of Instagram.


Social media is the first thing the young generation look at in the morning and the last thing before they go to bed. With body confidence being such an issue in today’s society, social media is setting an unattainable standard of what is beautiful. Your confidence and self-esteem is knocked, even when you don’t believe what you see or read.

The thought that goes through your head, such as “wow she has such a nice body,” or “they look like they have had the best weekend,” are thoughts that go through your head!  But are they true?

When the term ‘body image’ is searched, the normal reaction is a negative one. It has become a common problem as social media is globalised. Negative body image is a huge cause of a number of eating disorders. Researchers are saying social networking and online photo sharing can do nothing but build on the already existing problem.


Although women are heavily influenced by social media, mens body insecurities are affected by their significant other. We speak so much about how society is effecting women’s confidence but rarely discuss the males point of view.

Normally, body confidence is seen as a female issue although research tells us that 40% of adult men claim to feel pressure from social media to have the ‘perfect body.’ 7% of the audience said that this is made worse when their partners look at images of men with amazing bodies.

Kylie Jenner with Lip Fillers
A photo Kylie Jenner has posted on her Instagram, enhancing her big lips.

Magazines and advertisement have been criticised for upholding dangerously unrealistic standards of success and beauty. The ‘idealised’ body image has changed dramatically over the years. From being slim with a thigh gaps, to being curvy with a big bum. When Kylie Jenner decided to get lip fillers in 2016, all the girls on social media jumped on the band wagon. These standards are set high by media adverts and the average person can’t realistically meet these expectations. A model who is size zero is promoted all over the internet, although they have been made up, photoshopped and resized to meet societies social norms.


You can use an app called FaceTune on your mobile phone, where you can upload a picture of yourself and change anything about you. This can be anything from your make up, your height to your waist and bottom. This app is even promoted to young girls on Instagram.

Louise, airbrushed photograph.
Louise Thompsons overly edited Instagram photo and selling a lipstick.

Here is a Youtube influencer called Brittany Bear Makeup using FaceTune. Brittany is promoting the app and creating even more unrealistic expectations and prompting young people to start using it.

Back when I first got Instagram, beauty trends did not exist. All my photographs were low quality and blurry but from 2014 onwards, things began to evolve. From then on Instagram was not about friends, photography or sharing your memories – it has now turned into a platform to brand yourself as a certain type of person. It is all about beauty and being a fashion icon.

Whoever you follow on the social media app, it has now become difficult to scroll through without feeling like your hair, makeup and skin are not good enough.

Influencers themselves, who brand themselves as ‘beauty queens’ are unrealistically airbrushing their photos that they are calling ‘no make up selfies.’ They are trying to promote different products and how good they are at creating different make up but in reality they are editing the photo themselves.

If you do not know how to use photo shop it doesn’t matter now we have the new app called FaceTune.


“A believer that social media norms are unhealthy”

Why do you think that social media is unhealthy?

I feel that people think they have a certain image that they have to live up to and jeopardise their own happiness to please their followers. They are trying to live up to the image that they have created of themselves.

What social media websites have you used most in the past?


How long did you have it for?

I probably created my social media account in year 9/10 but deleted it last year.

Why did you delete it?

I deleted Instagram because I did not like who I was becoming through using it. I became too conscious of my image and what people would think of me.

Do you feel a lot of pressure when using social media?

Yes I do. I feel like our society has this perfect image of how everyone should look, be or live and not just enjoy their life and look after their own happiness.

I have recently got Instagram back but am more mindful about the content I’m sharing and how it affects my mental health.

Social media is a huge platform that will forever grow. However you interpret the different networks is up to you.

Thank you for reading. Follow my Twitter account to keep up with regular confidence quotes to get you through your day!

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