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There had been a recent trend going around on apps like TikTok where creators are
explaining the backstory to their most liked Instagram photos. Some of these backstories include
how while they look happy in the photo, the reality is that the photo was actually taken on some
of the worst days of their lives. One particular aspect of this trend that I thought was really
interesting was that many creators are including the photoshop edits they did on themselves to
make their body look more aesthetically pleasing.
I don’t know about you all, but there have been many days where I have been scrolling
through my social media content and thinking to myself “I wish my stomach looked like hers,”
or “I wish my legs would tan as nicely as that girls.” These thoughts may seem harmless at first.
However, these thoughts can escalate before you realize what’s happening. Harmless thoughts
can turn into “maybe if I ate less I could get my stomach to look like that” or “if I start tanning
with less sunscreen and more bronzer, I could be tanner.” Those thoughts can lead to dangerous
outcomes, which is why it is so important to address the underlying issue.
Social media is great for many things. It’s great for keeping up with friends you might
not have seen for a while, it’s great to document your life, and it’s great to network with people.
However, social media also makes it extremely easy for the lines of fantasy and reality to get
blurred. Through filters and editing apps, unrealistic expectations of beauty standards get
published for everyone to see, and for everyone to compare themselves to. For girls who may not
realize that their favorite influencer is probably using photoshop to edit themselves, that image

can be extremely dangerous for them. It could lead to them comparing themselves to that person
and taking drastic measures, like developing an eating disorder, in order to look like that person.
Social media companies need to start addressing this factor. By helping users to become
more media literate and understanding that what they see on their platform is not the whole story,
it could potentially help a young man or woman who thoughts were becoming more and more
self-criticizing. Until social media starts addressing these issues, more and more women will
continue to suffer under the false pretenses of these photos of false advertising.

Campus Correspondent of Her Campus at Indy/ Class of 2022/ Marketing and Political Science / Feminist/ Aquarius
Communication Major Political Science Major Concentration in Human Communication Member of the UIndy Honors College Her Campus at Indy Vice President and Co-Social Media Director
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