What is the significance of a selfie? To take a photo of ourselves in an environment that makes us happy? To prove something to someone else? There are, undoubtedly, plenty of reasons why people snap photos of themselves, but with the term "selfie" having become an actual word in the dictionary ... the question must be asked: Is our society becoming unhealthily consumed with this trend?
New research by the Dove Self-Esteem Project reveals that over a million girls in Britain are actually suffering from low body confidence, with two-thirds admitting that they feel "prettier" online than in real life. Social media's impact is clearly taking its toll. The research also revealed that half of all 13 to 23-year-old women are on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at all times. On average, they post a selfie a day, and 60 percent of those experiencing lack of body confidence admit that they are bothered by not getting enough "likes."
And while at a young age, 70 percent of girls 13-17 find that they can be themselves on social media, as they get older, this positivity decreases as they become more aware of their appearances. The research shocked Dove so much that it led the brand into launching a campaign titled "No Likes Needed," in hopes that they can help to encourage young women to find a better sense of self-worth outside of the realm of social media.
To what degree is this problem affecting young women? These young ladies tell their stories.
Annie, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from the south west of England, said "If you don't take selfies, you're a social outcast. You have to do it to fit in. Those who don't aren't as popular at school.
I take selfies about ten times a day and post about two on Facebook – any more and people get annoyed and won't 'like' your photo. And it's all about getting likes – the more you have, the more popular it means you are. I spend about two-and-a-half hours a day taking selfies and if I get less than 75-80 likes, I delete it. That's embarrassing and it makes you worry not as many people like you as you thought."
Emily, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from the north west of England, said "I love selfies and post one on Facebook or Instagram every day. It can take up to an hour. First I do my hair and makeup, then I find the right place to take them – by a window for the light and with nothing messy in the background. It's always at home. I'd be too embarrassed to take selfies in public! Some girls spend much longer doing them than me - they spend ages contouring their makeup to look good."
Emily, a 22-year-old who works for a digital company in the north of England, said "At school, aged 16, we'd all post selfies and the pretty, popular girls would get the most comments and likes. I'd be jealous – they were having such an amazing time and I wasn't. Normally if you're jealous of someone, you stay away from them, but on social media, you idolize them and start hating yourself. The pretty, popular girls in my school were called 'the blondes' and I wanted to emulate them. I knew I had to be pretty to be popular. But the pressure's quite dangerous, and we now idolize extremes - no one knows what a normal body image is any more."
What do you think of the selfie epidemic?
Source: Daily Mail
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