I’m not a great fan of social media – this blog and Facebook is about as far as I go. So when I discuss Instagram, I don’t presume to know much about it. What I do understand is that people upload pictures of their lives with a tag line, and then others who follow their profiles can ‘like’ their pictures. This has created some kind of culture, where people (usually pretty people or celebs) are paid lots of money to look good whilst using/wearing/drinking a particular company’s product. This can actually become people’s living – be their main source of income – apparently (if they have enough followers).
Essena O’Neill was one of these people. Here‘s an article that explains a little about how she completely turned on this kind of life. She speaks about how all her pictures on Instagram were purely for ‘likes’, attention, and self-promotion. This is what she based her self-worth on, and it made her increasingly depressed because it wasn’t real-life. She apparently would spend hours trying to take the perfect picture, make sure her stomach was pulled in, her boobs pushed up and so on. Because obviously, the prettier she looked, the more likes she would get, and the better she would feel about herself.
This self-objectification can make people feel better in the short-term, but has numerous negative effects in the long run. Essena was depressed. Others may develop anxiety or eating disorders due to the shame about their “imperfect” bodies.
Go to Essena’s website to learn more about her revelations. She’s very interesting and potentially inspiring to girls who know exactly how she feels.
Try not to base your self-worth on the number of ‘likes’ you get on a pretty picture from strangers on the internet.