Did you know that every month 10,000 people Google the phrase ‘Am I Ugly’? That’s a staggeringly high statistic. I’ve been following Dove’s real beauty campaign for quite some time now and so naturally when Meaghan Ramsey (of the Dove Self-Esteem Project) participated in a TED talk I was very intrigued by what she had to say.
Social media is becoming a staple part of our everyday lives, whenever we want to feel connected we are no more than a few buttons or clicks away from anyone we desire to talk to. But how often do we think about the negative impacts of social media within the younger generations? Being a child or teenager has always been tough, there’s the struggle of finding yourself and becoming comfortable with who you are and what you’re not. Now there is the added pressure of looking a certain way, of course there has always been that pressure but now with social media it is more and more prominent and your image is more accessible than ever before.
With hashtags such as #thinspiration and #thighgap circulating Twitter and Instagram it’s no wonder that teenage girls and boys are suffering from low body confidence. People have become well aware of photoshop and how it is used to manipulate images online and in magazines but nothing has changed as of yet. With these unrealistic images being so accessible it is no wonder that people place so much importance on looks rather than substance and personal qualities.
It is important that we all do all that we can to support the young people around us. No-one should ever be Googling whether they are ugly or not – beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we are all unique and have our own attractive qualities and it’s time that people recognised that. Spread a positive body image and compliment people, not just on their appearance but on their personality traits, their achievements and their character.