In social media, the majority of women are relentlessly judged for not being slender enough, pretty enough, or for having small breasts.
Broadly speaking, posting any photo on social media does not adequately depict a person’s life. According to the University of London’s Gender and Sexualities Research Center, 90% of young women are likely to use filters to alter the appearance of their noses, brighten their teeth, and their skin tone. While receiving a huge amount of likes and valuable exposure from social media posts can be a source of great pleasure for some young people, it can also be of great concern to others.
The ‘likes economy’ is a term for a system of evaluating and judging people, such as acquaintances or future partners. As a result, most people avoid sharing images that would be disliked by a vast number of people.
Women are increasingly retouching their pictures, which leads to others over-editing their own images, resulting in an ideal culture of unapproachable perfection.
For instance, this report surveyed 175 young British women and non-binary people about the influence of social media on them. As a result, it was estimated that 90% felt pressure to present themselves desirable, 70% felt pressure to portray their lives as problem-free, and 75% would never match the pictures they post. It’s also worth noting that these young women are often bombarded with ads or push notifications for beauty treatments to change various aspects of their bodies or faces.
To add, women of colour, people with disabilities, and non-binary people, according to Gill, seldom see anyone online who resembles them.
In large, filters are used in an attempt to enhance our beauty and, in some cases, this is not necessarily harmful. However, the less exposed we are to natural images, such as imperfect skin and wrinkles, the more difficult it is to observe these aspects reflected in the mirror in front of us.