Dangerous Consequences of Instagram

The picture to the right is fake, and created from a free iPhone app in a matter of seconds.

My friend downloaded an app on her phone and edited this girl’s body (a stock image found on Google) to show how easy it is nowadays to create a distorted image within seconds.

There is an ideal body image in our society that people cling onto, which is having a butt, having big boobs, but also being skinny and having a flat stomach. In reality, having the perfect body is impossible. Often, people feel that if a certain aspect of their body is lacking, they need to edit it, so that it fits this ideal that I mentioned. In the example above, the girl’s butt was edited to make it look larger even though it was perfectly fine before. This is so dangerous because it is distorting how girls look at their own bodies, and also affecting people’s confidence.

We all scroll through Instagram. We all probably follow beautiful models who have amazing bodies. It is fine to follow models on Instagram, but when you start to compare yourself to them, and tell yourself you need to look more like them, that is when it becomes dangerous and harmful.

I have struggled with body insecurities in my past, but I have come to realize that comparing myself with other people on Instagram is a complete waste of time. The pictures you see are edited, and it is the best possible angle out of the hundreds of photos that were taken. Instagram does not show all the editing, positioning, and angles that went into making that one “winner” photo.

Instagram is causing people to lose confidence and feel insecure because of the “perfect” girls that are constantly infiltrating people’s feeds. Instagram is not real life. No one is perfect. There is no such thing as a “perfect” body. You are beautiful how you are and comparing yourself to other people is a waste of time because everyone is special and unique in their own way. And I’m not trying to sound cheesy, but I had to learn this the hard way. I would constantly obsess over girls on Instagram and compare myself to them, but in the end, it only made me miserable.

So my advice is…if you are following someone on Instagram and every time that person posts a bikini photo, it makes you feel insecure or angry with yourself for not looking like them, maybe unfollow them. Or take a break from social media. Sometimes it’s good to take a break and unplug, and spend time doing the things that make you happy. Exercise, but don’t do it to look a certain way. Do it because it makes you feel good and happier. Eat well, and feed your body food that makes you feel amazing. Never starve yourself or “punish” yourself by not eating. This perpetuates the cycle of having a negative relationship with your body.

I know what I mentioned is easier said than done, but I wanted to make this post to shed awareness on this very important topic. It is often swept under the rug how Instagram pictures are very edited and do not portray real life. It is important to keep everything in perspective and remember that real life and being happy with yourself matters way more than online life and people that you don’t even know.

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