Social Media’s Negative Effects on Women Today Social media has become a huge part of our society today. People use social media throughout the day when they’re bored, to interact with people, or just to share their lives with others. The media may be fun or relaxing yet it has taken a negative turn mainly towards young women. It today’s society when young women go on websites like Facebook, Instgram, Tumblr etc. just to feel criticized and setback. It has made women feel vulnerable.
Social media has been proven to cause eating disorders, low self esteem, and extremely high expectations. These are the examples of the negative effects on women today caused by social media. One of the ways social media influences young woman is through causing eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and body dimorphism. According to this article by McCabe and Lina “the media influenced weight-loss behaviors only among those adolescent girls who were engaged in extreme weight-loss behaviors” (McCabe, Marita P. nd Lina A. Ricciardelli. 2001) stating that adolescent girls had developed into their eating disorders by going on social media. If they showed qualities of bad eating behaviors or they have began to pick up on bad eating habits this article proves that social media would only make it worse if they were to see the trends or expectations of a “normal” girl this would make young girls more motivated to get attached to bad eating habits to lose weight.
Also, in a similar article according to Shire, “Social media is worsening the minds of young girls and their struggles” In this article she mentions one of the trends popular in social media which was called the “thigh gap” trend. This was huge around 2014 where girls would post pictures of how large their thigh gaps were and would shame girls that would have no gap whatsoever. (Shire Emily, 2015) Additionally, on social media you will always be “too skinny” or “too fat”. According to Crocker’s article she interviewed an Australian model called Genevieve Barker.
The model was faced with skinny and fat shamers on her Instagram page. The model stated that she did not let comments get to her head and how “she will never be embarrassed of her own body. ” (Crocker, Lizzie 2015) When models are criticized for their bodies, it can damage the girls that look up to those models. In young girl’s minds models have the ‘perfect body but when the models are let down on social media for how they look it can be heartbreaking to the young girls because they feel as if they will never be good enough.
Another way social media influences has a negative effect on young women is that it may cause them to have a low self esteem or higher expectations of the bodies that they “should” have. According to this article “clinical work led her to scrutinize how media advertisements set unrealistic expectations of girls’ physical appearance” (Polce-Lynch, Mary, Barbara J. Myers, Wendy Kliewer and Christopher Kilmartin, 2001) This explains how even advertisement companies like Victoria secret can set high standards for young girls.
They believe that they have to look a certain way to be accepted into society and how it distorts their brains. In the same article they state that they tested 116 girls in the grades 5, 8, and 12. The results showed that the girls had much lower self esteem than the boys did. Why is it that girls are found suffering with body images more than boys are? Are the standards set higher for girls? Or is social media having an impact on how they should look based on popular accounts on websites?
In addition, Social media has given people unrealistic expectations on how they should live their lives. Within the past ten years social media has grown and people of all ages have made it a huge part of their daily lives. According to Littleton “Female adolescents in particular seek out magazines, internalize the messages presented, and use the media as a source of information about how to improve their physical appearance (Littleton and Ollendick, 2003) stating that females look up to social media and magazines to improve their lives and to imitate what they see.
Another article by Shire states “A quick scroll through Facebook and Instagram produces a stream of engagement ring selfies in the perfect Valencia filter—in fact, TheKnot offers specific tips for taking them-along with pics of tropical drinks on exotic beaches. And then you suddenly question why you aren’t engaging in these seemingly fabulous life events. ” (Shire, Emily. 2015) This proves that social media pressures us to live up to high expectations of having a thin body, social life, and expensive materials.
It can be overwhelming to be constantly judged whenever posting a picture on one of her social media accounts. Furthermore, young girls are given certain standards at a young age where they are taught to act, dress, and speak a certain way to be considered a women in society. Girls as young as nine are roaming the internet finding pictures and videos of female living unrealistic lives and bodies. According to Polce, Barbara, etc. “Media’s messages regarding what to wear, or more invasively, what to weigh and how to sculpt muscles, may relate to adolescent worries about physical appearance and selfevaluations.
Additional empirical investigation of the association between contemporary media influences and self-esteem is needed, with attention given to age and gender patterns” (Polce-Lynch, Mary, Barbara J. Myers, Wendy Kliewer and Christopher Kilmartin. 2001) demonstrating that Media can affect young women in more ways than just one. It tells them to be up to date with all the latest styles, brands, and friends. In conclusion, Social media has a huge role in young women’s lives. It tells them how to think, act, and live.
Through the articles listed above you learn that the majority of females feel insecure and self conscious. Social media was made to pass time and interact with people around the globe. Although, it may have its positive affects to it, it seems like it does more damage than good; causing girls as young as ten eating disorders, low self esteem, and high expectations to live up to. Without social media would girls be less insecure? Would they feel less obligated to live up to societies influence? Or would they find another way to bring themselves down?