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Body Image: The True Effects of Modern Beauty Standards

The negative implications

From the vast amount of images online on social media to the fashion and beauty industry marketing being postered everywhere in the physical and digital world, it is impossible to not see these images of men with the "perfect" body, looks, and hair. From the perspective of some men, myself included, looking at those bodies on posters can make you think more cautiously about your body, and even sometimes get you to the point of being ashamed of your own body and not wanting to show it publicly.

This can be quite evident in social media as suggested in the Will Our Lives Ever Be Not Filtered? that young people who go through changes themselves are seeing these people with high beauty standards on social media,

"posts from influencers and celebrities, giving a false reality and unrealistic beauty standards".

This can have a detrimental effect on young people, especially as they can take themselves on extreme diets to slim down or bulk up to try and gain similar beauty standards which can have long-term effects on their physical and ultimately mental health.

From personal experience, I know that people can get into a spiralling loop due to these social standards of beauty, causing people to go on vast diets containing little to no substantial food which causes them to be physically ill. Not just this, but if no results come through this causes the spiral to get even worse causing depression and even weight gain as a coping mechanism making the situation even worse.

A study from Bradley University shows that "90% of men in college struggle in some way with body dissatisfaction and have negative emotions towards their bodies".

Men are more silent on their issues and can find it hard to discuss their problems as they find it hard to open up through the embarrassment they feel about their bodies.

What is being done to battle this?

The beauty and fashion industry is trying to stop this negative rippling effect on social media with their marketing campaigns by introducing more plus-size models into the industry, along with more neutral beauty standards, to battle the ongoing war of high standards affecting people's lives in many different ways. You can see this happening among the more influential celebrities on social media, trying to create more body positivity as seen in Rhianna`s Savage X Fenty Fashion shows showing a more inclusive way of modelling.

"It was an unequivocal rejection of the one-size-fits-all".

The dark side of social media: How unrealistic beauty standards are causing identity issues shows us that social media accounts are being created to expose people who use photoshop to make themselves look more beautiful in pictures. People can see that not everyone is perfect and make them feel better, and see celebrities and influencers are truly like other people behind the edited photos. This can help a large portion of people suffering from body negativity come to the realisation that not everyone is perfect, and never will be, allowing them to gain confidence in themselves again knowing that these social media posts are faked and look nothing like the original posts.

This is a big step forward to dropping the veil on social media and start showing the true beauty of people rather than having everyone use photoshop to change their appearances to make themselves feel better about being someone they're not.

For a more body-positive and unified world, we need to keep on pushing these agendas forward to bring people together and irradicate the burdening issues we face as a society and start to diminish the high beauty standards that are being set amongst society in the modern age. This is an important issue we face now and if it is not resolved sooner rather than later we could potentially be facing a high rate of depression in young people who use social media in future generations.


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