Under (Social Media) Pressure

By Affinity May

Scrolling through social media is one of the most popular pastimes of today’s generation. The concept of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat make them a perfect way for companies to grow in popularity, in addition to creating platforms to share knowledge and art with the world. However, are these websites merely creating entertainment for today’s youths, or are they putting pressure on young woman and creating unnecessary expectations for us to try and adhere to?

The pressure to be presented as ‘perfect’ is increasing day by day. There seems to be an unwritten rule about how you should look and act. With young girls exposed to this on a daily basis, consequences such as insecurity, low self esteem and limited confidence often occur. 

I spoke to a group of women in Plymouth about their perspectives on this topic, and the answers were devastating. Amie Marie, aged 16, stated, “I feel the constant pressure to change myself to be a better person or to be accepted by society’s harsh rules/expectations”.

Kayleigh Smallest, aged 15, said, “Personally I have felt society’s pressure by the way people comment on things like skin , hair and most frequently the expectations of having ‘perfect’ teeth”.

Megan Symons, aged 17, stated, “I feel like everyone has this (…) ‘if you don’t look like this or don’t do these things, then you are bad’ attitude. It does affect me personally and I know that I need to find ways to combat these negative feelings”. 

Harriet Rogers, aged 16, said, “ I have experienced this pressure on more than one occasion and it has led to me feeling like I’m not good enough, that I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough, haven’t got the perfect bum etc. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised that it’s not as big a deal as I made it out to be when I was younger, but I know that I’m not the only girl who’s felt this and I definitely won’t be the last” 

Of course social media is not the cause of all vulnerabilities towards young woman, but it is a reason that so many of our young teenage woman are feeling pressure to be presented as perfect online.

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