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How Personal Growth has Been Portrayed More in the Media

Social media is prevalent in today’s generation. Not only does it give you multiple accesses to communication, it opens the doors to information, job opportunities, and resources to better anyone’s life. In older generations of communication, there was an underlying ban to talk about mental health because of the stigma that society put on mental health disorders/diseases. Nowadays, it is abundantly clear that Generation-Z are using their platforms to advocate for mental health, but most importantly, for themselves. 

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It is crucial to consider the other side of the coin that the consumption of media throughout childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood can have detrimental effects to mental health if used incorrectly or abused by others, but if used efficiently, it can be a gateway to advocacy and community. In recent years, social media has been an extremely important tool to post about social and political issues around the world, spread the word about peaceful protests, and fight for the rights of others. Another side that I have recently seen more is the acceptance of identity through social media. 

[bf_image id="qb8epo-ak8eeo-a76xts"] Throughout history, there has always been a stigma on anyone that didn’t meet society’s standards. The result of not conforming would be met with violence, mental and physical abuse, and gendered racism in plain sight. In this time of technology, society has met those old standards with a hard reset and continues to advocate for change and reform to include every body shape, every person, every ethnicity, every identity you are born with. More and more, influential celebrities, and people of power demonstrate that it’s okay to be different than the posed photos that describe “perfection”, an idea pushed onto adolescents time and time again that is simply not possible to achieve. At the same time, documentaries, instagram and/or facebook shows depict the lives of the content creators in the world, and demonstrate the flaws and mistakes while showing the growth and learning that comes with it. It’s empowering to realize and look up to people that embrace being human means change and accepts those obstacles diligently, focusing on who they want to be. Shows you can watch are Taylor Swift’s Netflix Documentary and  Demi Lovato’s documentary, who relentlessly advocate for equality and acceptance of all parts of yourself. 

[bf_image id="c9st3p6v7rpz95pch5px5"] Finding yourself is a long journey that everyone goes through. It takes time, effort, strength, and acceptance that life sometimes will not be what you want it to be. Though it may be hard, look upon yourself and reflect on what you see and even share it with others. The world is changing and your journey might be the one thing that inspires someone to take that step towards positive and personal growth. 

Olivia Garcia

UC Riverside '24

creative writing major - lover of books, Netflix, and being your truest self
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