WE CAN all identify a point in our lives when we have compared ourselves to someone. Whether it be a family member, a friend, a celebrity we are utterly obsessed with, or even an Instagram model.
An Instagram model is typically defined as a ‘highly attractive, big online presence with a mass following’ and can make anyone’s self-esteem go from around an average 47 to a minus five.
During my classes at the IW College, Instagram and these specific ‘models’ are a topic that will constantly come up between me and my friends. We cannot wrap our heads around the fact that these women, and even men, can look so effortlessly perfect all the time. Tanned skin, zero blemishes, long silky hair and incredibly toned stomachs. My only question is HOW?
I will tell you how — photoshop.
Now, I always knew photoshop was used on celebrity’s photographs, but I never realised it went as far as morphing their own face to appear like they’ve had plastic surgery or enhancing their features to look like they’ve got a smaller waist and bigger hips.
An Instagram account ‘exposed’ these models by showing their touched-up Instagram photos and comparing them to their paparazzi photographs or videos from the same day. Don’t get me wrong, they still looked beautiful, but they were covering up details of their body including stretch marks and cellulite that shouldn’t be hidden and that they shouldn’t be ashamed of.
Before realising that these models were hiding these parts of themselves, I used to feel insecure about why I didn’t look like them or why I had certain things that they supposedly didn’t. But then I realised they are the same as us. They have their insecurities and they have their imperfections, just like we do, and that we really need to stop believing everything we see on social media before it really starts to destroy us.
By its very nature, social media provokes mental health issues in many young people today. It would be hard to blame social media entirely for a negative mental impact on social media users both Island and nationwide, however, it seems clear it can play a key role in deteriorating mental health.
Young girls idolise these body types that are altered and changed through an app resulting in eating disorders, body dysmorphia and depression.
It’s time to challenge social media influencers to combat this. Should big social media names approach their online presence with a view to promote self-worth and realism beyond their ego, perhaps social media would be a healthier and safer platform for us all.
The moral of the story is, we were given one body and one face and just because we don’t look a certain way that social media perceives as ‘beautiful’, doesn’t mean we are any less beautiful than someone that does. And usually, that person doesn’t look that way either. It’s all thanks to a bit of altering from our good old friend photoshop.
Check out Jade’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/jadehoney