Is instagram brainwashing young females’ perception on beauty?

Thanks to social media, everyday more and more females are facing deeper insecurities within themselves.  One of the many sites being used today is Instagram.  Instagram is a place where people share their photos as to what they are eating, what activities they are doing, where they are at, but a major factor of Instagram that has grown over time are “selfies.”  Selfies have become a huge phenomenon and a creative way to share one’s confidence.  However, the purpose of selfies has taken a whole different route of meaning on Instagram.  Selfies on Instagram have now become a part of a competition of who can get the most attention and likes for how beautiful they are.  It is no longer a form of self-expression; rather a way to seek validation from others that they are good enough.  Instagram has definitely emphasized their lack of confidence.  Instagram models are the latest trend and all everyone seems to talk about.  Young females are beginning to look up to these Instagram models and some try to live up to their standards of beauty.  Is Instagram brainwashing young females’ perception on beauty?  Young females have become blind to the negativity Instagram brings to their security and self-confidence because they depend too much on the approval of other Instagram users (Fleming). For example, a young female takes a photo of herself feeling very confident and beautiful.  She begins to receive a certain amount of likes and maybe a couple of comments from people that are complimenting her beauty which brings security that she is beautiful.  That security is only temporary until she starts to see other Instagram models post photos of themselves with many filters and that they are receiving thousands of likes and comments.  “Why don’t I look like her” becomes a common question amongst young women.  The insecure female begins to crave and seek that attention and will go far lengths to receive the appreciation and approval of others based on her looks.  She seeks to please others’ perspectives of her own image.  This becomes the beginning of letting Instagram control her mind and determine her value( Carr).

The reality of the beauty portrayed on Instagram is a “false reality.”  These Instagram models that are praised for their beauty spend hours on their hair, make-up, choosing the correct filter, airbrushing, the perfect angle, etc.  These people are setting up an impossible expectation to meet by other users that try to attempt this method.  According to the article “5 ways Instagram is ruining your daughter’s self-esteem” by FamilyShare, “Your daughter’s sense of self is in danger when she spends her time projecting the part of herself that exists only at a superficial level.”  (Family Share, n.d.). Going out as a young female to explore and has an Instagram account, things look different. They brush off reality and begin depending on the number of likes and comments one gets. Taking of the ‘selfies’ is no longer about that moment that zone you are at that moment you taking it. One wants to feel so important and noticed. The selfies are updated and changed with upgrades in Instagram which allows one to change their appearance in order to fit this Instagram society models. Ensuring that people on the platform like what you dished out to them, so much interested on the appearance that is presented.

Ladies have become celebrities unexpectedly on this social media platform making them go beyond the unthinkable, becoming a slave of Instagram to be more precise. Turning to selfie zombies, taking the selfies at any given chance that pops up not considering the people surrounding them or where they are. “Woman Gets Plastic Surgery So She Can Look Better in Selfies” by Chakya, It might be because with social media, we have all become celebrities with audiences we have to placate, snapping more selfies and sending more updates. As Lavey’s case shows, selfies aren’t so much about ourselves, but other people.” (Chakya).  People have to the extreme of having plastic surgery which at this age and era is being considered as a normal practice because they want to look beautiful in front of others wanting their approval. One goes to surgery in order to change even the slightest thing on the face that is deemed as not fit by others; they want to have that ‘perfect look’ as its being called. Given an example of Triana Lavey who has gone for such surgery was quoted saying that she feels she like herself but only this time Photoshopped (Chakya). This remark was peculiar in a way. Chakya used this to show that the ladies do not recognize themselves anymore after undertaking various steps in order to enhance their beauty for approval. They have so much corrupted by Instagram; they have let it control them. Their self esteem has been totally disoriented to such a point that they can do anything to change their own appearance so as to have that security of being accepted by Instagram follower, the world of fiction.

Basing on a poll that was carried out on the social media platform, about 80% of the people voted yes that truly Instagram has great influence to their lives. 205 disagreed giving various reasons. An example is Victoria Monroe; she said that Instagram has not affected her lifestyle in any manner whatsoever that one can possibly think. Its only when you are weak minded, that’s when it will have a toll on you and change your mindset thinking, the obsession you have. (Manoe). The young generations of ladies have almost forgotten who they truly are on the inside. They are concentrating much on the” perfect look”, the outward appearance. According to Monaé, Ashley in “Are You Validated by the Amount of Instagram “Likes” You Get?” she says, “The results shows that the attitude towards selfie-posting, the perceived behavioral controls, and also narcissism are considered as the significant determinant of which an individual considers before posting selfies.” (Manoe). The many likes and comments that one gets from a post will also boost the ego that they have. The photo is considered as being great because of the many likes and comments that it receives. Many teens look forward for that determining factor that becomes the turning point on the view of their life. Other teens like Vista Beckham, 17, she has more than 12,000 followers on her Instagram account. When asked about the routine that she follows when posting the photos on her account, she says that she will take over 50 selfies of which she will still struggle to get that perfect angle and still add filters on them to make it more attractive and acceptable by her followers. She always compares herself to the many Instagram models that are. She wants to be like them, she has even gotten an upgraded cover for her phone which has extra lights on it in order to enhance her beauty when taking the selfies. She has invested and a lot of makeup of different kind as she is trying to keep up with the modern trends in the market. She considers herself as important to the society by the more likes and comments that she receives from her posts. It is apparent that many of females in society deem their selves as not valued if they do not get the likes that they consider as per their ratings. Instagram has created some impossible standards which are hard to meet by the young females. Some think that if they are not as flawless as this Instagram models then they are not beautiful. The fame on Instagram is what many youths are striving to get nowadays of which comes with a lot of burdens. Considering the life of a model in Instagram, it is not happy and glamorous as one may perceive (The Daily Free Press).

According to a Model of Instagram, she shared an insight story of her past as a model on Instagram. As many had considered her as role model an inspiration to them and someone who is completely perfect, well for Mildred felt totally different as she said, “I was miserable. Stuck. Uninspired. Angry. I didn’t enjoy the act of creating art, writing or any forms of self expression like I once did as a child. When no one judged it, I created without limitation or filters (Tullo). Herself expression no longer belonged to her but to the world of her followers. She was struggling to fill acceptable by the world yet even she was not acceptable by her own standards.

As some were being taken in by Instagram and brain washing them some felt completely opposite. Arian Grande thought of Instagram on a whole different perspective. She stated that Instagram had no influence on her; she never felt the desire of neither becoming famous nor care about it. She agrees that she aimed for that perfect selfie but that did not alter her ego or confidence if she did not get it. Instagram only captures ones’ confidence to some point but the rest is up to you as a person to decide on it (McCluskey).

In conclusion truly Instagram has brought a totally different dynamics of which the women view themselves. This application has become a distracter. It has increased the levels of insecurities of person who are not in terms with her own self. It has truly damaged the mindset of a number of women. Although a number of them disagree with the influence that Instagram has on them, they still agree that they also were looking for that ‘Perfect Selfie’. They are blinded completely by this fact. It proves that they also care about how people view them and more so wish to look their best on this feeds. They deserve more not just people defining what they should look like in terms of appearance and beauty or way of life. As women they should be united as one and set aside these boundaries, they should not let a mere application set for them growth boundaries to their self-esteem.

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