Instagram: The Real Millennial Villain

From the constant array of new face morphing filters to the face-tuned and manipulated posts, Instagram is an overwhelmingly fake platform where individuals are able to glorify their lives in order to attract followers. However, in do

ing so, has Instagram created a false sense of a perfect reality where the standards of beauty are extremely high and unattainable?


What Is Instagram?


For some background information, instagram is a social media platform founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and later bought over by Facebook. The original idea behind Instagram was to have a platform to share photographs taken in a casual and accessible manner.


Instagram is now a competitive platform as to who has the better life through photographs and who acquired the most attention from them.


Instagram Models and Their Influence



Instagram models are individuals that got famous through instagram, most of the time using photographs of themselves posing in a cute outfit or bikini. The problem with this is not the individuals themselves but it is about the facetune and constant editing to. create a false sense of reality for the viewer. The reason why most of these Instagram models become famous is thanks to the sex appeal that often attracts men (if we are talking about female instagram models) and the comparison that women will most often than not have when they look at


the posts.


Let's take for example famous American Instagram model Alexis Ren: a huge hit back in 2015 due to her amazing figure of an extremely thin waist, large breasts and a perky bum. The growing instagram influencer was a huge talk and idolised by the teenage girls. I remember hearing girls around me saying how badly they wanted to look like Alexis Ren. At first, Ren claimed that all her assets were natural, however later on it was revealed that the model had gotten breast implants and rumours even surfaced of her having rib bones removed to create the allusion to a thinner waist. Although this was a conspiracy, Alexis Ren came out with a statement that she


had been suffering from an eating disorder. This shows the problem where a model's life on social media is idolised and especially teenage girls are wanting to reach the body of an unrealistic standard.


The Kardashians are also often flagged for editing and face tuning their photos to create the illusion of thinner waists and bigger breasts or even a smoother and lifted face. There are many accounts that expose the celebrities using real-life paparazzi photos next to the photos the Kardashians posted themselves. The comparison shows normal-looking people next to unattainable beauty standards.



The Mind and Social Media


The cycle of mindless scrolling through social media is also scientific: it is a quick fix of endorphins (our happy hormones). There is a correlation between loneliness and depression and social media: the less social media is used the happier someone gets. We have a want for more likes on our photos and every time our phone buzzes we get a dose of endorphins flowing through thanks to the validating feeling of the like. However, this slowly fades as you begin to think about getting more endorphins disguised as likes. The endless cycle of never being happy with the likes you have and always wanting more is also correlated to the self-validation of the post.



The problem lies with how humans function: the hierarchy of beauty that is placed and how social media is creating a false reality of beauty standards that are unattainable or only attainable using body modification like botox or surgery. As teenagers have more synapses than adults, they have a more impressionable brain which means that social media is extremely significant to the growth of teenagers.


Overall, instagram is disguised as a fun and entertaining app however it creates more bad than good through the constant comparison and judgment throughout the app.


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