Social media stars ‘heap pressure on children to meet unobtainable beauty standards’
- Some 62 per cent of 15 to 16-year-olds feel social media increases expectations
- Photoshopped images and only flattering shots have shifted their perception
- Charity YMCA blamed celebrity culture for fuelling ideals of physical perfection
Queen of the selfie Kim Kardashian posted this picture to her Instagram account
Social media stars have been blamed for heaping pressure on children to meet ‘unobtainable’ beauty standards.
Some 62 per cent of 15 to 16-year-olds feel social media has ramped up expectations over their personal appearance, youth charity YMCA found.
It said photoshopped images and the sharing of only flattering shots have shifted young people’s understanding of what a normal body looks like.
The charity also blamed celebrity culture for fuelling ideals of physical perfection, with 58 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds identifying it as the main influence.
YMCA spoke to more than 1,000 children about the pressures they felt to look ‘perfect’.
Among 11 to 12-year-olds, social media was already a concern, with 43 per cent claiming they were influenced by stars on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
The charity has joined Dove for the ‘Be Real’ campaign, which is urging people to stop editing their pictures and to hold brands responsible for not promoting a healthy body image.
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‘We’ve all been guilty of only posting our most flattering pictures on social media,’ said Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA.
‘While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show yourself from your best angle, it’s important we still like ourselves when we’re not looking our best.
‘Today’s beauty standard is completely unobtainable, leading us to constantly feel bad about our bodies and looks.
‘This is particularly the case for young people and it can have serious effects on their mental and physical wellbeing.’
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