Trawling through hashtags on Instagram, you’ll soon find yourself drowning in a sea of absolute edited perfection. Instagram has given us the chance to completely edit and banish any physical imperfections we have. For the average 14 year old female who uses it, this can be devastating for self esteem. In a society where perfect teeth, thigh gaps and lightened long thick hair are the order of the day, Instagram is a breeding ground for producing and showcasing images like this:
Growing up in my teens without Instagram (but the start of social networking had begun) I think was amazing. Whatever you had to offer wasn’t being compared to how many followers you had or how many likes you could get on your selfie. The popularity of Instagram is feeding the mind of the vulnerable, teaching them they must be perfect. You must have flat stomach but also ample breasts. You must have a perfectly rounded derriere but also slim thighs. And if you don’t posses any of these then why are you even here?
Dont get me wrong, I think Instagram can be used in an incredibly positive way. There are many support groups, networks and even dating opportunities. I know friends who have found job opportunities just by signing up and marketing themselves but I don’t think the positive possibilities are being utilised as much as they can or should be.
Girls will take on average at least 47 ‘selfie’ pics before they find the perfect one but the blooper reel is never shown to the consumer. The only thing that’s left is the one immaculate selfie which to a girl in her teens who is going through the transition of finding herself in this world is an unattainable image. We are literally digitally enhancing ourselves to the point where it is physically unattainable. You cannot add a filter to your face in real life no matter how hard you try. Even the most beautiful supermodels in the world wake up with bags under their eyes, morning breath and bed hair.
Converting the number of like or followers into your importance on this planet is such a dangerous game. I think the question we need to ask ourselves is how many people would you impress if Instagram became obsolete?