Written by: Lovina Nova Sukra
Edited by: Kanessha Rama Krishnan
Do you have a habit of scrolling through your Instagram feed and comparing yourself to someone who you think looks extremely flawless and ‘has it all’? In your eyes, these Instagram models or influencers have the perfect skin, hair, eyes, nose, lips, body and just EVERYTHING. Little do they know how deceiving pictures can be. A lot of young women and even men have a tendency of doing this and not knowing how damaging it could be to their mental health and lead to a lot of body image issues. Instagram used to be a place where we just upload meaningful memories with our friends and family but now with our new generation, it feels like a negative space that puts us in a spiral of self-hate because of our young and impressionable mind feeling like we need to look a certain way to fit in today’s trend.
What a lot of people don’t know is how heavily these photos on Instagram are edited, photoshopped and airbrushed to the point that these models, influencers and celebrities don’t even look like their true selves. Did you know FaceTune, a photo editing app that is able to redefine and change your whole appearance, is the most downloaded application in 2017? Many celebrities admit to using this app to reconstruct their facial and body features such as the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, James Charles, Chrissy Teigen, Lizzo and so many more. Even celebrities that preaches on body positivity and self-love still Photoshops themselves to look skinnier, smoother skin and completely reconstruct their features. This can be very misleading and can create superficial, unreachable and toxic beauty standards among young women and men.
Did you know getting lip injections, fillers, botox and plastic surgery has become such a norm in today’s world? The highest rate of cosmetic procedures are done in America, Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, Germany and India based on the Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors article in 2020. Even young girls in their teenage years are getting work done to their face and body just to be considered ‘beautiful’ based on Instagram’s standards. What is ‘beautiful’ in today’s definition? Having plump lips, big almond eyes, soft light skin with no imperfections, thick eyebrows and a small nose. While our bodies need to be Barbie aesthetic with a small waist and curvy figure, which is so unrealistic and not obtainable because everyone is born with different bone structures and body type.
I think everyone who follows pop culture would remember the viral ‘Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’ where one sucks on a cap to get their lips swollen to have plumper lips. People are willing to cause harm to themselves just to have that ‘Instagram look’ instead of accepting who they are and not realising every single person is beautiful in their own way. We all took this quote for granted before but beauty is truly in the eye’s of the beholder.
Everyone is chasing to achieve a look that isn’t even real. A lot of people paint themselves out to be something they’re not on Instagram. They put a lot of effort in their photos with heavy photo editing while looking like an entirely different person in real life. We are too busy putting so much pressure and stress on ourselves for not looking like them while they might also be very insecure and not confident with the way they look.
Just recently Khloe Kardashian, a famous TV personality most known for being in Keeping Up With The Kardashians, is trying to remove an unauthorized photo of her that was circulated around the Internet. Her team has been trying to make sure that photo is nowhere to be found online because it is an unedited photo of her which shows her true body, face and skin that looks completely different from her Instagram photos. The Internet was angered by her team for desperately trying to hide the truth because it proves how they are trying to plant an unrealistic beauty standard to our minds.
Based on a study done by Mercy Multiplied, a lot of women between the age of 12 and 25 suffer with an eating disorder, body dysmorphia and poor self esteem due to Instagram providing a toxic mirror such as the perfect hourglass figure which causes them to starve themselves or go on unhealthy diets that could potentially harm their lives. This can also cause depression and other mental health issues because of the pressure they put on themselves for not being born looking a certain way that is not even real.
It is so important for celebrities, influencers and Instagram models to note to their followers that not everything we see on social media is authentic and achievable. Girls should not grow up thinking there is something wrong with them because they do not look like the women they constantly see in the media. Therefore, we all play a huge role in this issue and make sure to always be true to yourselves and accept ourselves for who we are. No matter what skin colour, how tall or short, our weight, hair colour, nose size and body shape is, we are all beautiful. Although it is hard to love the body and skin we’re born in but remind yourself to always be kind, gentle and patient in your journey of self-love.