Does Social Media Affect How You See Yourself?

Instagram, I have feeeeeeelings about you…

I recently read an article on how Instagram, Snapchat and the photos editing apps a lot of people use with them have led to more and more teens comparing themselves to unrealistic beauty standards (and in some cases even to kids developing body dysmorphic disorder).

My first thought after reading the story was “DUUUUUDE, it’s not just teens!” As much as I like browsing Instagram for inspiration and, honestly, the cats, sometimes it does a number on me. I like to think that I’m a woman who loves herself and has a healthy degree of self-esteem, but still — there have been moments when I’ve scrolled through my feed and felt “less than.”

Yes, I know that people curate their feeds and only share what they want to share, so it isn’t a 1:1 representation of someone’s real life (just the real life they want the world to see), but sometimes all of that perfection still makes me feel like I can’t get my life together, or like I’m too old or too chunky or too sloppy or just not nearly wealthy enough (does everyone wear Gucci belts and have white couches and prepare dinner in kitchens with Calacatta marble counters?).

Maybe I need to work on toughening up my mental armor and lightening-the-heck-up (side note: CHILL THE EFF OUT, KAREN).

On the flip side, Instagram can also be a source of unexpected strength for me, like when I see a cute picture of someone’s cat or kid, or when I read a sweet story about something nice that happened to someone, or come across an inspiring quote that re-frames my perspective.

Anyway, I’m curious. Has social media changed the way you see yourself? Oh, and if you want, you can go anonymous on this. I totally get it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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