Social Media and Body Image

872 words | 3 page(s)

In today’s society, social media is at an all time high. From MySpace, to Facebook, to Twitter and now the latest social media site Instagram have all been used to do their intended jobs of networking and socializing all at your finger tips. With all these different media sites there has been an evolution of simply instant messaging someone to now posting pictures of you for the world to see. On the latest site and app Instagram there are even filters that you can add to your pictures to make you as a person look “cooler”. Nowadays, with the advancement in photo editing programs such as Photoshop and Google’s own Picasa, people are using this software to modify their pictures. Whether they are going for the thin look, muscular look or even going as far as adding more color to the body, the use of Photoshop and these programs have changed the way social media is looked at.

Imagine logging on to Facebook and you notice an unfamiliar face post a comment on your wall. You know the name but you can’t make out the face until you click to enlarge and you realize that one of your friends is actually in the picture. All of the modifications they added to their face and body with these programs make them unfamiliar and unfortunately this trend is only growing amongst young adults and teenagers as well. We now live in a society where how you look is starting to become more important than where you work or how much income you can bring home. This generation, named Generation Y, produces people born into the technology phase. Everything is computerized and new technology advancements are popping out at a faster rate than ever before. The way that our grandparents and our parents see us is completely different from the way that their grandparents and parents saw them.

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The term body image has been defined as an internal representation of one’s own outer appearance and is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors. Generation Y’s idea of body image is completely different from what it was 30 years ago. On television when they compare older commercials you can see the difference in how the older models were more conservative and how today’s models walk around with barely anything on. Society’s definition of “beautiful” has changed. The way that Generation Y is being looked at by their elders shows this. This generation has been portrayed in the media as Generation Me, a generation of people that focus solely on themselves and only care about what they have to offer to the world instead of what the world has to offer them.

Generation Y summed up as a whole feels like the world owes them something. The image that is held over this generation is not a good one. Moral values have gone down with individuality. Everyone wants to be the same. When they see fashion models on television with what they call perfect bodies they want to imitate them so they can act and look the same way to be accepted. Girls look at these women and wonder how come their body isn’t shaped like that or how come their hair doesn’t look that way. This is where body altering comes into play. These young girls try so hard to be what they see on the big screen that they’ll go to any means to do so. Some people have the money for plastic surgery and ask their mothers and fathers for it but for those who don’t Photoshop is the next best thing. Taking a few pounds off your body or adding some tone to your skin are a few things that even the simplest person has learned how to do. The more you use this software the better you become and sadly the better the photos are altered to the point where someone you once knew isn’t so easily recognizable.

This generation has lost sight of what’s important, education being one of the main things. There are so many “regular” people going and getting famous from doing nothing but posting videos of themselves online doing ridiculous things and they’re getting all the fame while people that decide to go to school and get degrees are struggling to maintain relevancy in the real world. Even with an education nothing in life is guaranteed but nowadays people just want the easy way out. The way the media portrays this generation is simply lazy. Lazy people that want to look like and act like other people so they can get the fame that is owed to them instead of getting up and going out to work for what they want. Being someone else is the norm these days and with the help of the media one day we’ll all be the same person with a different face if we don’t decide to get up now and be ourselves as individuals. With so much technology coming out at such a fast pace it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not and also who’s real and who isn’t.

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