Instagram and Snapchat – two of the most popular social media cites in the last few years. They have turned out to be not only the fastest growing media channels but also the most influential especially among young people.
With a platform like Instagram where you are allowed to follow not only your friends but also world famous celebrities or the new wave of social media influencers, here’s the root of the problem, from constantly looking at their so-called feed or content of their lavish lifestyles unconsciously triggers a need. A “need” that pushes ones mind to wish they had a similar lifestyle.
The search for perfection isn’t something new. An example from the past can be young girls being influenced by seeing celebrities on magazine covers and thinking that the physical attributes showcased were ideal society standards or what was considered normal. However, that wasn’t the case. It’s 2019 and magazine covers may not have that same amount of influence but the new “normal” is being showcased on platforms like Instagram and snapchat. While there are a few new-age influencers trying to bring change, there are twice as many dictating the same norms from a decade or two ago or with more unrealistic image.
With the combination of apps like photoshop or facetune, it is hard to see what is real or not. From high-profile celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenner clan to the new age influencers like Alexis Ren promoting unrealistic beauty and body standards to young girls and women it is evident that their influence is not going to stop anytime soon. With the increased accessibility of Instagram, there is a rise in more and more girls/women and boys/men wanting to set a new standard through their influence. It is not just an obsession with either power or money but an obsession with unrealistic perfection.
The introduction of Snapchat filters and facetune have created a surge in the need to be perfect. What was once known as body dysmorphia is now being called as “Snapchat dysmorphia.” A sudden increase in people wanting to get plastic surgery or temporary procedures like lip fillers in order to look perfect has become a trend.
The influencencers 🎭
Who is to blame in this situation – the influencers or the influenced? Look at it this way, it is the influencers job to influence an audience to grow their business or their lifestyle. They are already falling into the perfection pit before the audience to be able to influence. They are not explicitly endorsing plastic surgery or any other procedures. Yes, they do endorse some shady products that promise to make you look perfect (for example, slimming tea or slimming shakes) but the influencers themselves might not have tried them out. The final product of them using face tune, photoshop, or even getting plastic surgery is what we see on our Instagram or Snapchat feed. Now, the influenced. For the audience, it is less about “I want to look like Kylie Jenner” and more of “I want to look better than Kylie Jenner.”
With this epidemic of perfection in the age of social media, where the influencers are deriving happiness from having the power to set “influential” standards either through actual modifications (plastic surgery) or virtual modifications (photoshop and filters), the influenced are stuck in search of happiness through unrealistic means.
Please comment and give your valuable suggestions on how we can get over this epidemic? How do you think the modern time idols should influence youngsters?