Instagram. An app in which one shares the highlights of one’s life. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Creating this perfect online life for yourself and your life experiences to the world? Well… it might not be as ‘picture perfect’ as you may think. Body image is a huge factor on young people’s mental health. Do you ever find yourself scrolling through the explore page comparing yourself to these airbrushed, perfect humans who capture the best angles… subconsciously do you do this? Or even consciously… it’s drummed into us that we should look like an airbrushed, perfect being all the time.
Take GraceFitUK for example, a fitness Youtuber and Instagram influencer. She studies at Oxford University whilst simultaneously running a fitness business and also religiously posting body pics on Instagram with thousands of followers to see. Seems like she has got it all sorted out doesn’t it? It is so incredibly easy to compare yourself to someone like her. However, GraceFitUK doesn’t necessary just post highlights of her life, she shares her before and after body transformation pictures to perhaps inform people that you aren’t born with the ‘perfect body’ (whatever that means) but you have to work for it. Body image in particular is, in my opinion, a bit of a taboo, due to the dreaded question of… what is the perfect body? Is it, for a female, to have curves? To be slim? To have big boobs or a big bum? Social media itself can affect both females and males negatively due to the need to want to be ‘perfect’.
If you feel alone in this twisted, conflicted mindset of the real Vs the online, I want you to know that everyone that actively uses social media, in particular Insta, has felt like this at least once before, you aren’t insecure for having these thoughts… you’re human. Considering the app is meant to be friendly and harmless, it is ironic that it causes such unhappiness, infact, it lowers self esteem, makes people anxious and depressed.. The app that once was fun is now toxic.
Both young females and males feel their life should aspire to these or having to compete with these people when in reality the only person you should be competing with is yourself! To better yourself by looking at how far you have come as a person, not to compare your success with someone online because NEWSFLASH it’s not real. Compete with you and you only.