Insta-Fake, The Unnatainable Perfection That Haunts Our Lives
by Hank Moody on June 22, 2015 - 11:28am
Social media is extremely hazardous. Even though many people who use it aren’t even aware of the affect it is having on them, and society in general, it is becoming more and more detrimental to the self-esteem of its users. In this post I will be talking specifically about Instagram, which is a social media app where users post pictures and their followers are able to like and comment on these pictures. Being a user of the site for the past few years I’ve noticed how much the posts on the app affect the self-esteem of users. The photos posted by celebrities have an even greater influence on us because we tend to look up to them more. The problem with Instagram is that people show you pictures on what they want you to see, which is not necessarily pictures that accurately depict their lives and looks. Because of this users are starting to become more materialistic, narcissistic and self-conscious.
Some of the main culprits of this are members of the Kardashian family, notably Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. These two are known for posting somewhat over the top photos, which have clearly been edited or manipulated in some form. The main problem is not that the pictures are edited because almost anyone no matter how famous they are can edit a picture to look a certain way, the main problem is that their followers sometimes fail to recognize that the picture is being manipulated they start to think that it is normal and possible to look like these celebrities. This is extremely detrimental to the self-esteem of the followers, especially girls, because they strive to look exactly like Kim or Kylie without knowing that Kim or Kylie don’t actually look like that themselves. This type of impossible perfection puts a lot of stress on women because they start to think that they are valuable only if they look like these celebrities and any other qualities they possess such as humor and intelligence don’t matter.
The fact of the matter is that Kim and Kylie barely look like themselves either. Kylie has been photographed on the street days after posting a photo looking almost unrecognizable (White). She has also been accused several times of having lip injections and breasts implants, which, if true, are absolutely ridiculous for a seventeen-year-old girl to have. These allegations create so much drama around the Internet and Hollywood, which only adds to the number of viewers who see the pictures. However, with role model’s like Kim it’s not that surprising to see why Kylie has turned out this way. Her half sister’s claim to fame was a sextape and she has been known for posting shocking photographs such as her fully naked spread in paper magazine called “ Break the Internet”. I thought she couldn’t outdo herself but I was once again proven wrong when she announced that she would be releasing a book called “Selfish” which has a different “selfie” of her on every page. And we wonder why society keeps becoming more insecure and narcissistic by the second…
The family seems to thrive off of drama and they seem to love any reaction they receive, good or bad, as long as they get attention. Personally, I find it disturbing how the world focuses on Kylie Jenner’s lip fillers instead of acknowledging real problems such as children in Africa who are water deprived and dying by the second. However, in today’s society no one seems to care about anything that they can’t fix by typing on a social media account behind a computer screen. What disturbs me as well is the number of adolescent girls who idealize these two, among many other culprits, and begin to hate themselves because of these impossible beauty standards. According to a survey conducted by Dove, 54% of women agree that when it comes to how they look they are their biggest critique (Fleming). Most of this stems from the media, especially Instagram these days which is becoming more and more prevalent and widespread. My hope is that society will stop idolizing people like the Kardashians who have done nothing positive for the world except pose nude and star in a mediocre reality T.V Show and instead start to find role models who have actually impacted the world in a positive way, not just by looking good in Instagram pictures.
To be honest, as a heterosexual male, the pictures obviously appeal to me because like other males I enjoy seeing attractive women. But what people like Kim and Kylie do makes me extremely angry even if they do look very attractive in the pictures. The reason it makes me angry is because they are not actually being themselves and what I am seeing in these pictures is fake and unattainable, they don’t even look half as good in person than they do in their Instagram photos. It is extremely deceiving and once again unhealthy for the female viewers who think these looks are attainable. I’ll be waiting for the day when filters and photoshop no longer exist and all you can see on Instagram and social media are people for who they truly are and what they really look like. Unfortunately, it only seems to be going in the opposite direction with everyone becoming faker and more materialistic.
Fleming, Olivia. "'Why Don't I Look Like Her?': How Instagram Is Ruining Our Self Esteem." ELLE. N.p., 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 22 June 2015.
White, Chelsea. "Makeup 911! A Fresh Faced Kylie Jenner Reveals Her REAL Lips after She Is Pulled over by the Police without Her Usual Layers of Liner." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 22 June 2015.