Internet Beauty Standards – OPINION

Social Media and society sets beauty standards that can be toxic for teens.

Maylynn Ferrell, Staff Writer

“Wow, she’s really pretty. I wish I looked like her,” I say to myself daily as I scroll through social media. I see different people who are human, just like me, yet I still feel as if they are better than me. One in every 50 people has body dysmorphia and online expectations can play a major role in this. The beauty standards nowadays are so unrealistic that even naturally attractive people feel the need to change themselves, whether it be simply editing little “flaws” they have in their pictures or going to the extreme and getting surgeries. 

Throughout the day, I go through hours of endless scrolling on social media. The first thing I do when I wake up is I get on my phone and scroll through TikTok or Instagram without meaning to, I start my day off feeling as though I’m not good enough due to seeing all these “perfect” people that I look nothing like.

It’s almost like you’re in a constant comparison contest with yourself and strangers on the internet that are viewed as having the “ideal body”

Though not all things I see are meant to be about beauty standards, a lot of things turn into it. For example, I’ll see people posting about their fitness updates, and even though it is not meant to be about beauty standards it still makes you value your self-worth. It’s almost like you’re in a constant comparison contest with yourself and strangers on the internet that is viewed as having the “ideal body”.  I catch myself constantly critiquing and putting myself down because I don’t look the exact same way someone else does. I see another person with toned arms and think mine are too big or I see someone’s sharp jawline then get insecure about my soft jawline.  Somehow everything you see online is the exact opposite of what you are and it makes you think negatively about your height, weight, arms, legs, teeth, hands… almost everything about a person can be picked apart and put into an unrealistic beauty standard.

Not only am I constantly judging myself while being on social media, but online shopping can also somehow be even worse. I’ll find something I really like then go to see how it looks on the model. I end up telling myself that I shouldn’t waste my money on it because I don’t look like the model so it won’t look good on me. I’m constantly brainwashing myself into thinking negatively because I don’t look a certain way or look exactly like someone else. I was wondering if it was only me that thought this way but then discussing it with one of my teachers, even he finds that shopping online can really be toxic. He said, “I shop online but then it makes me sad because I see all these tall fit men and that’s just not my body type.” It affects everyone in some type of way and can be very upsetting. 

Everyone wants to be someone they’re not. If you have blue eyes you want to have brown, if you have curly hair you want to have straight hair. Even the people you wish you looked like don’t want to be themselves, most of the time and would rather look like someone else, It’s just a constant cycle of wanting to be someone you’re not. You may see someone on Instagram who looks to be perfect, but in reality, they’ve added so many filters and have edited themselves so much that they don’t even recognize themselves. Everything is just so unrealistic with social media because you can never tell what’s real and what’s fake. 

Internet beauty standards can cause dissatisfaction with yourself and your body. Social media makes you feel in order to be perceived as “beautiful” you have to have all these standards that society sets. Apps like TikTok and Instagram, you’re constantly seeing people that have a skinny waist, an hourglass figure, big lips, a thigh gap, and a flat stomach. Seeing these “perfect people” makes you think that you need to have it too. We’re made to think that we must have these unrealistic standards but in reality, everyone’s beautiful just the way they are.