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SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW TOXIC MIRROR

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SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW TOXIC MIRROR

"A Woman Measuring Her Belly" by Petr Kratochvil is licensed under Public Domain

"A Woman Measuring Her Belly" by Petr Kratochvil is licensed under Public Domain

"A Woman Measuring Her Belly" by Petr Kratochvil is licensed under Public Domain

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Over the years, social media has been proven to be a powerful vehicle in terms of raising awareness on a variety of issues. Beyond its use as a social networking tool, it allows an individual to share content and opinions. However, there is an undeniable truth that these mediums continue to place a great emphasis on how women should look.

Beauty standards, largely proliferated through the media, have drastic impacts on young women and their body image. What many people don’t know is how subtle these visual cues are, yet how intensely they affect the female population both individually and collectively.

Americans have long understood that movies, magazines, and television damage a young teen’s body image by promoting the “thin ideal.”  This concept has integrated itself into the lives of young females, forcing them to believe that having a slender physique, small waist, and very little body fat is the preferred body to have.

Society has evolved to a point where the appearance of a woman’s body is viewed as more important than how she feels in her own skin. Women are taught at a young age that how others view you physically is more important than your own comfort. The women of this world can blame pop culture and social media for being forced to conform to how they should look.

When scrolling through Instagram, one cannot help but finding the latest waist-trainer ad endorsed by America’s beloved Kardashian clan. According to The New York Times, women who spend more time on social media outlets suffer from increased insecurity, anxiety, and eating-disorder.

Social media outlets have conformed society and put intense pressure on women not just to be “traditionally attractive”, but to see this attraction as a source of empowerment, to see sexuality through a very skewed lense.  Platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram deliver the tools where teens feel almost forced to earn this approval as well as comparing themselves to others.

Seldom do you see an average sized female on the cover of ads; instead, we see a 5 foot, 10 inch tall supermodel weighing 107 pounds an with olive complexion, big breasts, and clear, beautiful skin. It is due to those unrealistic images that young females see in the media that contribute to their desire to be skinny and perfectly toned, which eventually develops a self-destructive sense of self. There is always something wrong with how they look, but never anything wrong with the celebrities whom America admires.

American culture has transformed itself into an industry where the sexualization of women is common in any social media network. According to Apple, three Photoshop apps came into the top ten most purchased apps of 2018. It becomes natural to adjust one’s features through Photoshop on every photo before posting it: changing the saturation to make oneself four shades tanner like Gigi Hadid, or editing one’s arm to make it look slimmer like Kendall Jenner’s. “I need to be like these girls” is a common thought that has been instigated by social media exploiting women and teens of today.

Together, Americans need to start using social media as a platform to empower women positively. The modern day females need to learn that beauty shouldn’t be based on others opinions towards them.

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About the Writer
Ariana Richter, Opinion Staffer

Piano senior Ariana Richter is a first-year staffer on The Muse. Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Richter is going to do everything she can to get out...

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SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW TOXIC MIRROR