Social Media and Self Esteem
File this one under: blaring bummers.
Slate.com recently shared statistical evidence from both the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Florida University that alluded to a weird new reality about the perpetually tumultuous relationship between self-esteem and teenage girls as being informed by social media. According to the AAFPRS, 2013 saw an increase in plastic surgery inquiries among younger people, 13% of whom cited their appearance on social media platforms as reasons for the desired change.
Florida University identified a link between Facebook and eating disorders that I am still slightly confused about (article here for your own reading pleasure or discomfort) but frankly, my question is less about the actual information and much more about what we’re supposed to do.
The article ends with a slightly passive, can’t-live-with-it-can’t-live-without-it nod to young women’s relationship with beauty and body image as one always at risk; the platforms simply shift. While social is the most recent media to threaten said relationship, there’s obviously a much larger issue at play here. So, how do we instill a more positive sense of self in EACH OTHER so that we can pass down our super sweet tips and tricks of the trade to the generation below us?
What’s it going to take for us to actually, finally, definitively learn that beauty is not uniform — it comes in infinite shapes and forms and dialects and so forth. Are we putting a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches?