Editorial: Teens feel social media pressures to be perfect

Caroline Glus, Reporter

Approximately 80% of U.S. women don’t like how they look. Social media has become a new problem in this day and age primarily with teenage girls. The pressure to constantly look perfect with social media presence is a new issue of body image issues that we need to better understand.

Because of society’s model of perfection is reinforced on a daily basis, everytime a teenager opens their phone they are bombarded by false and unrealistic expectations. Although when they see these images they might not automatically feel bad about themselves, over time they may find that they feel they will never fit societies form of “perfection.”

Seeing models all over Instagram feeds of many teenagers can cause many mental health issues. According to Misson.org many companies use underweight models and photoshopped images, these edited ideas of ‘perfection’ are what lead many teenagers to develop a variety of mental health disorders.

According to The Inquisitive Mind, one of the most prevalent mental health disorders that can occur because of these false images of the ideal body is body dysmorphia, which is a disease in which an individual obsesses over one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance. Social media is now a constant reminder of what others have that we do not.

Many teens crave validation from their peers, and media is a way for them to gain the feedback they desire.The significance that social media feedback has on our self esteem illustrates the negative all-consuming aspects of it. We can no longer simply rely on our loved ones’ opinions of us, but also rely on the opinions of complete strangers.

According to Very Well Family, the pressure to look perfect has forced teenagers, primarily girls, to alter their photos. Filtering and editing photos leads teens to creating a false sense of identity, while also conforming to societal norms. Society forcing teenage girls to conform to one body type or one look they find aesthetically pleasing is not only unfair but damaging to all those affected.

Psychology Today states that, when the media subconsciously pushes teens to be as thin as possible, diet products arise. Diet products and beauty items send the message that not only is being thinner consequently more attractive, but also that it is the key to happiness and success. Beauty and diet industries flood women’s social media feeds with glorified thinness ideals, making many women feel a sense of dissatisfaction with their bodies.

Young girls not only have to deal with the objectification of famous women’s bodies and photographs in the media, but their own bodies, as well their peers, are often subject to objectification through the posting of their own pictures.

With body image constantly changing throughout time, today’s social media has created a constantly unhealthy environment of falsified expectations. Rather than allowing these false ideas of beauty to continue, we need to work as a society to accept everyone for how they are. No diets, no photoshop, simply genuine, natural beauty. To contribute to the spread of awareness of social media pressures and mental health awareness, donate to Mental Health America now.