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The dark side of social media: Unrealistic beauty standards

Unrealistic beauty standards

Nowadays, social media is often the home of many influencers. At first, it seems like a good opportunity because social media does reach a large audience. However, the majority of the content created by these influencers revolve around physical appearance. Social media users are convinced that what they see on these platforms is the reality and sets unrealistic beauty standards. Consequently, these unrealistic beauty standards are negatively impacting many men and women. 

Identity and mental health issues

Constantly comparing ourselves to others can in the long term bring up all sorts of issues. Indeed, it is not rare to see people developing body dysmorphia while trying to fit in those unrealistic beauty standards. Furthermore, since we constantly browse social media platforms throughout the day it is easy to feel pressured to continuously keep up with the “normalized” but unrealistic beauty standards from the morning when we wake up to the night when we go to bed. Facing these unrealistic beauty standards daily is affecting lives one like at a time.

Unattainable body goals

When we say “body goals”, people will most likely already have a certain body type in mind due to unrealistic beauty standards. While scrolling through thousands of absurd body pictures on social media and seeing the  “body goals” hashtag under each of these photoshopped pictures, individuals will associate the body they see to a body desired by numerous individuals. In addition, the bodies you see are rarely what they actually look like.  Indeed, oftentimes they are the results of plastic surgery, intensive gym sessions, and/or photoshop which creates unrealistic beauty standards through the users’ eyes. Furthermore, a lot of individuals put their health at risk by taking different types of pills and trying different types of diets thinking it will be enough to fit today’s exaggerated unrealistic beauty standards.

In conclusion, unrealistic beauty standards often cause some identity,  mental, and body health issues due to their physical and psychological impacts on the individual.  “Body Goals” is a made-up term forcing people to fit into those unrealistic beauty standards. Let’s not blindly believe everything we see on social media. 



Oakes, K. (2019, March 11). The complicated truth about social media and body image. BBC Future. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from

Hahn, E. (2019, November 15). The toxicity of beauty standards. The Catalyst. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from

Henriques, M & Patnaik, D. (2020, September 21). Social media and its effects on beauty. Intechopen. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from 

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