Too Good to Be True

Abigail Gholston, Journalism Student Contributor

Instagram is where we go to see what our friends, family, and celebrities are up to. On Instagram, people post about themselves and their lives, and everything looks like sunshine and rainbows, but often that is not the reality.

Nowadays, so many expectations are set for us. We have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, have our hair a certain way, etc. Social media can cause a lot of insecurities for people because if they don’t fit within those standards they are considered weird and made fun of for it. This can encourage people to pretend to be someone they aren’t and make them unhappy with who they are. 

Instagram, and social media in general, can make people feel the need to be perfect and that can take a big toll on their mental health. I’ve seen a lot of people compare themselves to others, and wish they could change things about themselves. For today’s generation, the beauty standards are set so high that instead of loving themselves and just being grateful to be alive, people pick themselves apart until there’s nothing left.

I know this from my own experience; I used to compare myself to other people all the time, and over time I started to hate myself and the way I looked. I thought that the way I looked was wrong, and that I should have a smaller waist, smaller thighs, a flatter stomach, etc. It took such a toll on my mental health that I started eating less and doing intense workouts. My brain tricked me into thinking that what I was doing was healthy and would make me happier with myself, but the skinnier I got, the less happy I was. No matter how much weight I lost, it was never good enough for me. At one point, I had completely stopped eating and was working out even more; I was burning fat that wasn’t even there anymore. I lost 30 pounds in less than five months. Some of my friends and family noticed my significant weight loss and shared their concerns, and I finally realized that what I was doing wasn’t healthy at all and that I needed to stop. 

I’m not saying that social media is completely to blame, and that no one should have it, but social media can be a very toxic place.People wouldn’t swim in toxic waste, so why drown in social media’s toxicity?

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