In modern times, social media plays a substantial role in identifying social norms. Social norms such as body image breakdown a woman’s confidence and view of a “perfect body”. Adolescent girls are most commonly influenced by this unrealistic beauty expectation. According to Northwestern Counseling, “researchers who studied data on more than 10,000 adolescents found frequent social media use disproportionately affects teen girls’ mental health more negatively than that of a teen boy (Managing the Effects)”. The more girls that are exposed to unrealistic body image, the more they are dissatisfied with their bodies and their confidence is shattered. According to studies at Illinois State, “Social Media is unfortunately shaping our concept of beauty. With Constant exposure to images posted online, it is evident that there is a link to how individuals compare themselves and perceive their own body (Fleps)”. Prolonged media usage can be the starting point for certain eating disorders and mental health struggles, especially as young girls feel the need to change in order to meet this standard.
Instagram has been a common perpetrator for this virtual attack on young girls. Social media is dependent on physical appearance, which often results in constant self-criticism and questions of self-worth for the viewer. A study on “Daily Titan” states, “having a negative body image, or body dissatisfaction, means that a person has a distorted perception of their own shape, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. This is also usually accompanied by feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and self-consciousness (Lopez)”. It is tragic that young minds have to face this obstacle along with the regular challenges of growing up and finding themselves. Girls have extra stress of presenting themselves perfectly in the media otherwise they fear the wrath of harsh criticism.