Best Practice

Picture-perfect: The worrying impact of social media

The picture-perfect images and lives portrayed on social media are having a worrying impact on young people’s self-esteem and mental health, says Karen Sullivan

A recent wave of social media posts shouting “No filters!” got me thinking about the impact of the picture-perfect photographs, perfect lifestyles, perfect travels, perfect homes and meals and, most importantly, perfect bodies (hair, make-up, thigh gap, waist to hip ratio, peachy buttocks) on today’s adolescents – the Instagram generation.

It also reminded me that not only are cameras equipped with a multitude of filters to achieve perfection, but there are also countless apps that will take things one step further – erasing, adding and altering minute perceived imperfections to produce dangerously misleading “natural” shots.

I vividly remember cutting off the front pages of Seventeen magazine when I was in my early teens, taping them to the mirror and experimenting with layers of make-up to try to achieve that “perfect look”.

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