Instagram is now the main culprit behind low self-esteem

Kylie Jenner is one of the most followed users across all social media platforms [Photo: Instagram/kyliejenner]
Kylie Jenner is one of the most followed users across all social media platforms [Photo: Instagram/kyliejenner]

Although Instagram is known for promoting everything from clean living to mental health, some accounts do cause us to feel like failures in the life department.

Scrolling through endless photos of flawless faces and toned bodies can leave you exhausted and losing a grip on what’s real. After all, we know that many celebrity photos are heavily edited yet our attempts to rival Kylie Jenner and co are never-ending.

Now, a recent study has confirmed that Instagram is more damaging to our self-esteem than traditional magazines and adverts.

Fitness icons like Tammy Henbrow can leave people feeling inferior [Photo: Instagram/tammyhenbrow]
Fitness icons like Tammy Henbrow can leave people feeling inferior [Photo: Instagram/tammyhenbrow]

The Conversation asked 150 female undergraduates if they’d compared themselves to someone else over a five day period and whether that physical comparison was made after looking at social media, traditional media or in person.

The results showed that women rarely compare their appearance to the figures shown in magazines but that they do every single day on social media. They reported feeling that others looked better than them on social media – probably because we all post the most attractive photos possible.

The female participants also said they were in a worse mood after scrolling through Instagram and were more motivated to start a diet or other forms of weight loss.

Only young women were tested in this body image study but research suggests that men too may be affected. This isn’t surprising when 16-24 year olds spend over two hours on social media every day.

So how do we slow down these negative effects? It’s unlikely you’ll want to (or even be able to) do a full social media detox over the festive period but why not try unfollowing those accounts that leave you feeling critical of your appearance and start spending time looking at the likes of Deliciously Stella instead?

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