Culture > Girls struggle to find their ‘perfect self’ online

Posted on August 30, 2017

Image by Earldan via flickr

Zaffron Islam reports on the pressure that young people face when presenting themselves on social media
A poll by Girlguiding, a charity that empowers girls and young women, found out that 35% of girls aged 11 to 21 are worried about comparing their lives with others. They surveyed 1,000 women and found they feel under pressure to present themselves online in a positive way and have the so-called ‘perfect’ life.

In addition to this, only 12% of girls believed that their parents were concerned about the pressure of comparisons online.

Deputy chief executive of Girlguiding, Ruth Marvel said, “We need to listen and take girls’ voices seriously to protect their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life, both online and offline.”

Harley Street nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert said that in the last year, the number of children and teenagers who have come to her about the pressure of online standards has doubled within the past year.

“They are … thinking they are not healthy enough, or asking why they are not getting strong enough or not putting on weight,” she stated. “They look on Instagram and follow fitness accounts and want to look like the people who post pictures.”

Tom Madders, director of campaigns and communications at the YoungMinds charity said: “What young people see on social media doesn’t reflect real life, and we need to do more to help young people build resilience to the pressures of being online.”

What I think
Finding comfort from follows and likes, young girls often struggle to express themselves online. They end up deleting photos if they do not reach a certain amount of likes, or do not reach their standards as they lose confidence in themselves.

I agree that there is a large amount of pressure on young girls to portray themselves in a way which is seen as perfect.

Often, I have seen that young people cover their faces with make up and hide behind filters to reach the online beauty standards. I don’t post much online because I’m scared of not meeting the current standards, and my life is very boring in comparison to what I see on the Internet.

I think that we need to promote more positivity online.

What do you think? Please comment below.

Zaffron Islam
Zaffron is that ‘small Asian kid’ who enjoys playing the piano and drawing. When not scrolling through the depths of the Internet or obsessing over her idols, she likes to listen to music and badly sing along.

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