Social Pressures on Young People

Growing up in an era that revolves around media and technology has impacted who we are as an individual a lot. In this day and age, there are people of all ages with access to the internet and social media. The growth of social media is immense. It is all around us. Some use social media to connect with friends, family and the world around them. Others use it to create awareness to issues that are all around us such as systematic racism and the genocide in China. However, social media has also created one of the largest issues that have held an impact on people of all ages. As a young woman growing up, there are many insecurities and private struggles we face. Thanks to social media it introduced many to new beauty standards.
A woman’s body on social media is displayed solely as a trend. In 2014 there was a whole trend about having a thigh gap and being extremely slim. As a result this led to many young women and girls alive to develop eating disorders. Now, in 2021, the hourglass figure is bigger than ever. When looking on YouTube, you come across countess women’s workouts which deal with achieving an hourglass body. While scrolling through social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram there are many women who are showing off their body figures. This alone doesn’t pose much of a threat, it’s just people showing their bodies however, there are many people who encourage achieving an hourglass figure. This is problematic due to there being a lot of younger individuals on these platforms as well. Some are too young to understand that what they’re seeing on social media is unrealistic and unattainable.
I did a research paper for my school where I interviewed young girls and women alike from the ages 11-20 to see in what ways social media affected their view of themselves. Many went on to talk about how they developed eating disorders. Others discussed how they get bullied by the boys at their school because they don’t look like the women they follow on social media who do have an hourglass figure. In one instance, a girl even mentioned how she hit the gym to lose weight and focused on specific workouts which were said to help to develop an hourglass figure. These young girls all reported having low self esteem, low confidence, very unhappy and, in some cases depressed over this.
While this is a problem today, with time it’ll only get bigger due to social media being the backbone of our society today. All it takes is a quick upload and a comment to create a new trend, a new standard for these young girls to try to achieve. As it gets bigger it’ll only create and affect the lives of many more young girls and women. As long as people still aren’t being transparent about getting work done on themselves and how they themselves attained the hourglass figure, many young girls won’t know that it isn’t always natural and achievable for themselves.
With that said, social media’s beauty standards aren’t strictly preying on young women and girls alike. It also preys into boys. Many boys become overly self conscious about their bodies and how they’re supposed to act because of what becomes a trend catered to them. Look everywhere, the most popular males are either slim or muscular. It can lead to the development of a body dysmorphic disorder for boys because this figure is hard to achieve for many. Thanks to technology, social media grew to the center of many young people’s lives and as a result it negatively impacted their lives. Instead of allowing the problem to grow larger with time, there are steps many can take to slow down the rise of major issues in social media standards. The easiest way anyone can make a change is through raising awareness to an issue.

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