Posted on February 25, 2016

Are the Beauty Standards of Selfie Culture Harmful?

Lifestyle/ Opinion

Ask yourself this: have you ever taken over 30 selfies trying different angles on your face and asked your best friend which one was Instagram material? When was the last time you took a selfie? At lunch today? This morning? While walking to class? Last night at a family dinner?

We, as millennials, are all part of the “selfie culture.” We all know that taking a picture of yourself nowadays can change and improve every imperfection you think you have. Beauty standards are at a whole new level. But at which point are these alterations too much? And how far will people go to achieve this #instaperfection?

There are some people who are against this viral act of taking countless of selfies. Some may even say it has ruined the art of photography itself. Some say there is actually an art to taking selfies (we’re positive Kim Kardashian would totally support that statement.) The fact is, if you were to get on Instagram right now and type the hashtag “selfie” into the search bar, you would find endless of results of very attractive people in very staged photographs. They might look like something out of an editorial in a magazine, but they aren’t the models you would expect. They’re Instagram models.

Appearances, at the end of the day, do matter to a certain extent. We live in a visual world. Who doesn’t want to be as attractive as Beyoncé? As hot as Chris Hemsworth? As flawless as Adele? (Actually, that last one isn’t possible. Adele is a holy entity.) It’s totally fine to have those #goals. But even if it’s only a dream to have a butt like Kim K or the six-pack of Ryan Reynolds, there are plenty virtual tools at the ready to help us alter ourselves for that instant gratification. We use the features social media provides to make ourselves look better, but what happens when we start to like the online version of ourselves better than who we are irl? This is not something to take lightly. Selfies can create a lot of insecurities and self-esteem problems.

What would Snapchat be without that black and white filter that makes every pimple look good? Or Instagram without the classic Valencia or Rise filters we use when we try to improve the lightning in our photo? We are socially interactive beings who want to be aware of everything. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve how we present ourselves to the world. But when do these habits become harmful?

Our generation has become the consumer generation. Don’t let that change you as a person. Appearances may be very important in the world of social media, but they are not good enough reason to make you doubt yourself. We are all one of a kind. So think it through: do you really want to be anyone else but yourself?

Photo by: Byron Hernandez

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