Instagram Ideals: How Social Media Has Worsened Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Social media has created a toxic world for the self-esteem of young girls.


Tessa Bertine

Snapchat has a set of filters that enhance skin complexion, which leaves people unhappy when they take off the filter and see their real face.

Tessa Bertine, Staff Writer

Throughout history, certain unrealistic beauty standards have been expected of women and social media has only increased that pressure.

Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, claim to be spreading positivity to women; however, most posts do the opposite. Amy Hanson, a Spanish teacher at Woodside High School, has recognized how social media has affected her female students.

Even like normal girls on Instagram. They take like 30 different pictures, they edit it, they make it look perfect. ”

— Lena McDonough

“I think that like Instagram influencers and things like that project an image that is unrealistic,” Hanson explained.  “I think you young girls who are trying to create their own identity don’t know how to create their own identity because they are presented with these false perceptions of beauty.”

Amy Hanson is scared that social media will not allow girls to form unique identities.

While social media may have worsened the problem my mom, Ellen Bertine, felt these pressures growing up in Los Angeles.

“There was just a public profile that a lot of people just had on a lot of makeup, there was plastic surgery at a young age,” Bertine explained. 

It seems that girls strive to look physically perfect no matter if the pressure is coming from the community around them or social media.

“They tell you to be skinny. You can’t be fat or big or anything. But you can’t be too skinny and you have to wear makeup to look pretty but you have to look all natural,” Lena McDonough, a junior at Woodside High School, explained. 

McDonough sees how truly impossible these standards are to meet.

“Even like normal girls on Instagram, [t]hey take like 30 different pictures, they edit it, they make it look perfect. You see it, and you’re like ‘oh my god, they’re so pretty,’ but that’s honestly, that’s not even the real picture.”

Unfortunately girls have been expected to reach these ridiculous standards for decades, but hopefully social media can evolve into a platform that empowers women.