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Beauty Stereotyping: A Toxic Social Media Culture

CW: Body Image

A trend in Diet Culture and Unrealistic Beauty Standards

From skincare to clothing to physical appearance, we’ve all felt the pressure to adapt and internalise the trends we see on social media at some point. This frequently makes you uncomfortable and anxious because the pressure to maintain social media trends is simply overwhelming. We’ve seen a wave of clear, smooth, and glowing skin promoted by high-end serum and shampoo stores, diet culture and the relentless quest for a tiny waist or an hourglass figure to conform to the idealised slim media standard of female beauty. Sadly, this has resulted in many women having negative self perception, depression and disorders.

Both men and women are unfairly pressured to look a specific way because of toxic social media culture. However, women are disproportionately more affected than men. In those “who wore it better videos”, people also frequently compare themselves to others, resulting in body shaming and negative feedback from the comment area. Additionally, the availability of filtering and editing tools has worsened the situation because they enable users to shape-up, look lighter, and have smoother skin. It is not surprising that the community of people with dark complexion experience inferiority complexes. And as a result, the majority have turned to dangerous skin bleaching.

Inspiring positive body image

Unrealistic Beauty Standards have motivated campaigns for body positivity movements aimed at promoting acceptance of our own bodies. They challenge societal views and misconceptions of beauty standards, and inspire confidence in how we look. And this shouldn’t be limited to a particular, shape, shin could or sexual identity. Despite growing campaigns on body positivity, many have dwelled on the above as a limitation of body positive campaigns asserting that it does not confront the fast phobia or other kinds of prejudices. However, there are countless ways you can help change that narrative, inside personal development and positive change around you.

Overcoming the stereotypes

Honestly, with countless streams of ads, videos, posts and magazines it’s difficult to escape the narrowly conceptualized beauty standards. But it’s vital to remember that most of these standards in capitalism and mostly profit driven, and it is nearly impossible to fulfil the societal view of flawless beauty. Once you attain this realisation, you will save both money and your self-esteem.

Practice positive affirmations and let your words not fuel hatred or inspire negative thoughts amongst yourself and others. It turns out the more you say something, the more you actually believe it. Learn to pass positive energy to those around you and surround yourself with positive people. Practice reflective exercises and change any negative beliefs you might have had about yourself.

Invest and transform your life. Work toward becoming the person you want to be, pursue your goals and interests, whether they involve education, employment, or a profession, and do what brings you joy. You must put your attention on self-improvement if you want to be the best version of yourself. You must find inspiration from the appropriate people if you want to accomplish this. Take a look at your social media follower list as an example. What behaviours or standards do they exhibit? What impression does their post give you of yourself? Anyone who makes you feel less than yourself should be deleted or unfollowed. Instead, follow those who push you to grow as a person.

Lastly you need to accept and choose to be different. Take pride in individuality and take care of your well being. Whilst society may have created standards of beauty, it's up to each individual to accept who you are and refuse to confirm to social pressure. Remember you cannot please everyone and that beauty is subjective. Your unique physical characteristics, personality and interests are what makes you who you are.

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