Is Social Media Causing a Beauty Obsession?

As our skin has aged and stretched, so has consumer media. Magazine and television used to affect the way the older generation viewed themselves, due to the way models looked and the lifestyles they lived.  Now however, in our digital-age, how much is social media causing a beauty obsession?


Every morning, we wake up, and the first thing we do is view what someone else is having for breakfast or where they are having it. We envy what others are doing whilst we dread getting out of bed to go to work. Taken too seriously, social media is the center of everything in today’s society. We forget what’s front of us and are unable to realise that others only show us the parts of their lives that look good – or that will receive approval, instantly making them feel better about the truths in their lives. The constant need for approval online takes time away from our lives that urgently need living.

social media
Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

We are unable to escape social media, no matter how many apps we delete, there is still someone facing us with the need to capture the moment you are living with them. A constant competition of who can capture the moment in a better lighting. How many likes will I receive? How many heads will this turn? How many people will change the way they are to be like me? Imitation is the best form of flattery, or so the self-obsessed generation of today seem to believe.


Instagram is now needed for everything – including your career aspects. The way you present yourself on social media determines your future. Who is posting the most work? Who is associated with the businesses with the biggest following? Pressure is constantly added to work harder, be thinner, have clearer skin, bigger lips and a smaller nose. We let social media push us to figure things out quicker, determine where we want to go and the jobs we want to take – all factors of online oppression.


Social media is a toxic mirror, causing us to discover insecurities we never knew we possessed. We now believe we need something we once did not. A nose like theirs? A slimmer body like theirs?  Craving approval through what we post. Following the crowd and wanting what everyone else has. We will do anything to change it, including plastic surgery or extreme dieting. Of which is expensive and can change the way you look forever. The worrying thing is that these anxieties can actually trigger depression


The constant posting and sharing of ‘selfies’, give us chance to picture ourselves in a new light. Selfies are causing us to criticize ourselves deeper, and view ourselves in a way we once did not. This can lead to extreme dieting fads as people promote unhealthy diets online in a vow to receive quick weight-loss. The promotion of dieting online can be dangerous as it can become obsessive. Especially if people are promoting a diet with a photoshopped body. Which is the case most of the time. Instagrammers edit their pictures with new apps and filters, which can sometimes go as far as using photoshop. Certain celebrities such as the Kardashians has admitted to using.


Normal people are taking these photoshopped images and doing anything to try to gain the same look and following. However, the images are not real. Obsessing over something that is not real and trying to exchange your own stretch marks, dimples, and all the things that make you real and alive, just to try to receive more likes online.


Plastic surgery is something that has become extremely popular due to the use of social media as people want to look more like celebrities. The meaning of celebrities has changed over the years. Social media personalities are gaining a bigger influence on current trends, particularly towards plastic surgery in the UK. More and more trends are starting through the ‘duck lips selfie’, causing young girls to go towards lip fillers. The social media influencers with the most followers usually promote a new diet or surgery, meaning they are influencing young girls to change the way they are.


Surgery is viewed as glamorous due to so many celebrities and influencers receiving treatment and posting about it online. Followers are involving themselves in the craze to appear better on screen. Selfie trends constantly remind us of how we look; meaning we will notice new things we believe to be wrong with us daily. Usually, the people who post online feel the worst about themselves – always feeling like they have something to prove to the world.

According to BBC news online 60% of the public is ashamed of the way they look, pushing them towards plastic surgery. The lack of confidence could come from the pressure to always look good and to always be posting – with someone somewhere always being better. This can no longer be ignored. It is obvious people spend most of their time invested in media, and the rest of their time is invested in the way they look and how they can change it. The youth of today are more self-obsessed with time taken away from real lives to impress others we barely know within a fake world.

Young girls are starting to get plastic surgery from the ages of 16 due to the lip filler craze online with influencers promoting that they have them regularly, young girls wanting so badly to change the way they look because they care how others perceive them. Judging the way others look and the likes and the sharing seems to be our only sense of communication. We are more judgmental to people who are not avid online users, a foreign concept to the new generation.

Post Author: Shauna Hill

Shauna Hill
I'm an aspiring fashion writer, currently studying Journalism in Leeds...

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