How Social Media Impacts Beauty Standards for Boys and Girls

Paige Smith
May 11, 2017 · 4 min read

Social media has increased in popularity ever since the idea of smart phones and tablets started to appear for sale; there are various types of “social apps”, where millions of people can create their own profile and communicate with each other. While one may think social media only consists of contacting friends and sharing memories, the use of social has started to become the complete opposite of its purpose. Social media has slowly progressed into presenting boys and girls with their definition of what is “perfect” or “beautiful” and it has started to make an impact on self-esteem.

GIRLS:

Girls have been known for experiencing the body image issues and what they need to look like in order to be more accepted towards others. At a young age, they start to view others and focus on what they wish to change about themselves. With social media being apart of their lives the majority of the time, they experience the images and other posts, which reflect on social media’s ideal “beauty”. With this mindset, it is likely for girls to become diagnosed with an eating disorder and other forms of mental disorders.

BOYS:

When people think about social media affecting one’s self-esteem, they would start to think about girls being the majority of those who are impacted. However, today boys can have just as negative of an impact by the use of social media and their self-esteem. Boys today view the ideal “perfection” to become more muscular and overall physically fit. This could lead boys to start taking unhealthy supplements or diets, in order to gain the ideal results.

Studies have been proving how the negative ideals from social media can make a serious impact in their lifestyle, especially within a younger age range:

Parents:

With the idea of boys and girls using social media the majority of their time, the parents could play a factor towards how it is affecting their children. In a article published in 2015 titled, “Concerns about Children, Social Media and Technology Use”, studies have shown that one-in-three parents have gained concern over their children’s use of social media within a year. Despite a percentage of parents showing concern on how their children use and view social media, there is a majority of parents, who believe they should not get involved in their children’s social life.

“Most parents say they have not felt uncomfortable about the information posted about their child; few have requested content being removed”.

With the idea of parents becoming involved with their children social media, it can create an impact within the relationship whether or not the parents actually express concern.

Nicole, a mother of a son and daughter, expresses her views towards the overall idea of children using social media through a mother’s perspective:

Solutions:

Despite social media making more of a negative impact on boys and girls, rather than creating a positive experience, there are solutions towards how social media could end up improving one’s self-esteem.

The following suggest ideas for the individual to consider in order to begin to improve on their self-esteem:

Another solution social media users would benefit from is their role models. Well-known celebrities have started to come to the public and promote the idea of body positivity and self-acceptance; this could lead to their followers to become inspired to change the way they view themselves and feel accepted for who they are.

Here are just a few well-known celebrities, who spoke up towards the idea of body positivity and self-acceptance:

Paige Smith

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