Social Comparison

“80% say just looking in the mirror makes them feel bad” – Dreisbach, S., Glamour Health, 2014. How do you feel about your body.

Image taken from instagram of a very beautiful girl in a bikini
Image of a girl on instagram

The number of women who are unhappy with their bodies is rising continuously. But why? Us women are so judgemental and unforgiving of our bodies and we are constantly scrutinising ourselves and it is obvious that social media is a huge factor in contributing to this issue. Over 64% of women say that they “looking at pictures on sites like Facebook and Instagram makes them feel bad about their body.” (Dreisbach, 2014, Glamour Health) With social media a part of our everyday lives, this also means that it provides an even bigger platform than just TV and Magazines for us to obsess over our bodies. We are constantly being bombarded with images of women on social media just like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the list is endless and this is extremely damaging to younger females, especially those who already suffer from self esteem issues. We further criticise ourselves by constantly comparing ourselves to images of objectifies women on social media.

Many studies focus on this topic and research from them shows us that spending more time on these social networking sites increases self-objectification among us young women and this is a result of comparing ourselves to our friends or other women we see on the Internet. It is clear that comparing ourselves so harshly to others online can have massively damaging effects, but social media makes it so very easy for us to compare ourselves like this, especially as it is shown that it is women who use social media much more often than men do, leaving us more exposed and likely to be affected by it.

Unfortunately, for us girls it is so easy to constantly compare our bodies to people online who we don’t even know, yet still they cause us to question and feel bad about ourselves and often this results in negative and emotional responses leaving us feeling very self-conscious, dissatisfied with our bodies, wanting to change ourselves and even feeling depressed. As a 19 year old girl myself, I admit that I am always scrolling through Facebook, twitter and Instagram and I find it impossible not to compare myself to others. I end up coming off my phone and feeling horrible about myself, I feel so ugly compared to all these tanned, slim yet curvy girls with amazing thick long blonde hair, perfect skin and amazing makeup and think, I’ve got no chance. It is actually depressing.

Image taken from Instagram showing flawless skin and makeup
A screen shot taken from Instagram of flawless skin and makeup
Image from Instagram emphasising the body of a woman
Image from Instagram emphasising the body of a woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUT…How can we stop from comparing ourselves so negatively like this?!

  1.   Think about who these girls are that you are comparing yourself to. Do you know them personally? 9/10 It is strangers I compare myself to, so you have to think they are presenting themselves in the best possible light that they can. They’ve probably highly edited their photos, added filters and still probably even photo shopped themselves. Everything is not always as it seems on social media, and that long luscious hair you so badly want, it probably just fake extensions. That perfect skin and makeup is probably a combination of a make-up artist and glamour team along with the filters used on Instagram, and we all know how they can transform you! Try not to take the images you see so literally, you cant compare yourself to something that is not realistic!

  2.   Try to spend less time on social media and more time bettering yourself, then you will have less to feel negative about and more to feel positive about!

  3.   Try to post less selfies! It seems silly but we all evaluate our selfies in such detail, picking on every little imperfection. Not only do we compare ourselves to other but we also compare our current selves with past pictures we have uploaded so if we take less selfies and when we do, avoid self-objectifying ourselves, it doesn’t make you look better it just means you are giving into the affects of social media and in turn will only make your self-esteem lower.

 

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