Beauty standards causing self-esteem issues

By Julia Loughlin

At a very young age, we all paint a picture of beauty in our heads and we all view beauty differently. Thanks to social media, we now have new standards that cause teenagers to be forced into looking a certain way, acting a certain way, or even hanging out with certain people.

Kim Kardashian, for example, with a total of 103 million followers on Instagram, has roughly 59,818 times more followers than the total of students on campus. With that large of a platform, she has impacted many lives without even having to meet them.

But what is she teaching them? Selfie techniques, which she even has a whole book dedicated to titled “Selfish.”

But how do these famous people get to looking the way they do? One word. Money.

Plastic surgery, botox, lash extensions, butt and breast lifts, and tattooed eyebrows are just some of the things these celebrities do to look better. It is all part of the glamorous lifestyle they portray.

This, however, is not the case for the average girl.

According to Instyle reporter, Marianne Mychaskiw, the “average woman drops a cool $15,000 total during her lifetime on products.” With all the advertisements on social media, teens became hungry for the newest and greatest on the market, especially when it is being shoved in their faces.

They put their money into looking like others, and by doing so they are trying to fit the expectations of being slim, having perfect skin, and wearing trending outfits.

It is images of celebrities ‘perfect’ pictures that cause teenagers to have a negative outlook on themselves. It becomes a vicious cycle. A new post is up, a new trend starts, or a new product launches.

So what happens to those who cannot look this way or fit this standard? They begin to feel self conscious and unhappy with how they look. Symptoms like these may result in depression and eating disorders.

According to Nuffield Foundation, over the past 30 to 40 years, there has been a significant increase in the rate of teenager’s anxiety, depression, and behavior problems.

As social media has gotten bigger, there is no question as to why self-esteem problems have increased. Now do not get me wrong, the use of phones and apps can be beneficial, but it is the obsession with needing to change yourself to fit certain standards that lead to self-esteem issues.