Is Social Media Making Women More Insecure? Glamour Magazine Believes It is
How much time do you spend on Instagram and Facebook? Do you constantly find yourself comparing your body to your favorite Instagram celebrity? Well, if you do, it may lead to some self esteem issues.
In a new survey conducted by Glamour Magazine, 54% of women are unhappy with their body. This number has increased 13% since 1984 and Glamour Magazine believes it could be from social media. In an excerpt from their report, the magazine states,
“In the 2014 survey, a huge number of women—64 percent—report that looking at pictures on sites like Facebook and Instagram makes them feel bad about their body.” Every expert Glamour interviewed for this report agreed. We now have “a bigger platform than ever for us to obsess over appearance,” says Evelyn Meier, who is researching Facebook’s effects on body image at American University in Washington, D.C.
Another woman also stated,
“I compare myself with my friends on Facebook and Instagram all the time,” says Bethany Everett, 27, community director at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. “With actresses, I know they have a personal chef and trainer and it’s their job to have the bodies they do—I don’t have any real expectations of looking like them. With people I know, it’s like, Well, she did it. Why can’t I?”
Glamour also took their theory one step further and tested it on a group of woman.
To test this phenomenon in our poll, we showed survey takers three images of women in a bikini from the neck down but didn’t disclose their identity. Next we presented the exact same pictures with the faces, revealing actress Jessica Biel, tennis champ Serena Williams, and Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel. Participants were asked how each shot made them feel about their own body; surprisingly, they universally felt worse after looking at the unidentified photos. “The anonymous woman could be anyone,” explains Los Angeles clinical psychologist Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. “You don’t know it’s a celebrity, so your expectations change; you think that body should be within your reach.” Of course photo doctoring isn’t just for celebs anymore; up to 60 percent of women told us they crop, filter, or retouch their pictures—but when you’re browsing a friend’s Instagram, it’s easy to forget that her waist might not be quite as teeny as it appears in her posts. What’s more, Fox adds, “when you see just a woman’s parts, as you often do on social media—her ‘bikini bridge’ or her ‘thigh gap’ or sculpted abs—you stop seeing the whole person. You even stop seeing your own body as a whole, wonderful thing.”
In addition to these startling numbers, Glamour is also reporting that body images has stopped 30% of the women polled from having sex, 27% from making new friends and 17% from dating.
In an effort to fix these results, Glamour is suggesting women do several things. First, stop comparing yourself to others. Second, log off! Spending too much time on social media is never a good thing. Third, give your body some love and affection, and lastly, start describing your body positively. Even if there are some things you want to change, love it anyway.
For more information on the survey, check it out here. In the meantime, love you body and kudos to Glamour for shining a light on the topic!