Social media influences today’s beauty standards

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

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Flickr User mkhmarketing

Does your life revolve around snapping the perfect picture for Instagram or finding the perfect Snapchat filter?

Social media is our new way of communicating, shopping and seeing. The way in which we view ourselves and others is all at our fingertips. At the push of a button, our confidence can be jeopardized.

Social media influencers such as beauty guru Carly Bybel and TV personality Kim Kardashian-West have heavily impacted what the standard of beauty is today. Kardashian-West has 125 million followers on Instagram alone, not even mentioning those who still visit her profile without following her. She is arguably one of the biggest influences in this generation in categories such as fashion and beauty. Kardashian-West has been seen on countless fashion blogs, and her photos have been used for advertisements with popular clothing sites such as Fashion Nova. Who wouldn’t want someone with that many followers to promote their brand? But how does a simple ad impact us as users?

The average person has about 27 conversations per day, according to NewsWireToday.com. When on social media, a user can have up to hundreds of virtual interactions based on who or how many people they follow. That also means that there are hundreds of posts that will be seen by the user, which can lead to problems. When taking a poll on Instagram, 185 people voted on if they believe influencers have an impact on beauty standards set today. Ninety-eight percent voted “yes.”

Although insecurity is normal, it can increase when seeing people on social media. It can potentially lead to people comparing themselves to who they follow. In another Instagram poll, users were asked if social media made them feel insecure about themselves. Out of 150 people, 83 answered “yes.”

“These platforms help people project any image they want,” PsychologyToday.com reported. “They can be whoever and whatever they want to be.”

However, as a society we fail to realize that social media posts are only highlight reels. Since we are constantly only interacting with the perfect side of everyone else’s life, people using these platforms feel like their life isn’t “together” or “enough.”

This is where the pressure from society comes in. In another Instagram poll, 49 percent of people answered “yes” to whether or not they feel pressure to meet social media’s beauty norm.

Kylie Jenner has a very successful makeup business that is completely marketed through her social media platforms. The beauty industry has used these apps to build brands and use influencers such as Jenner to advertise their product for revenue. When celebrities represent brands, consumers tend to think they need the product.

The “Insta” in Instagram symbolizes the “instant” gratification and acceptation that we look from our followers. We go after the views and likes, but those things don’t matter in the real world.

Ask yourself: “Who would I be if all of my social media profiles didn’t exist?”

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