Even the abundance of cat pics and wholesome posts isn’t enough to hide the fact that the internet isn’t just about making people smile. When you enter the realm of beauty on social media, you have to prepare not just for artistic and aesthetic photos but also for what lies beneath the surface—society’s barely constrained desire to look ‘perfect’ at all times and how damaging unrealistic beauty standards can be.
Case in point—the popular ‘Goddess Women’ Instagram account with 319k followers whose founder photoshops already beautiful-looking celebrities to make them fit social media influencer beauty standards. Have a scroll through some of their latest photoshops and let us know what you think, dear Readers, because the internet’s divided into two camps about this content.
The content they put out raises some very interesting questions about beauty standards, how much is too much, and to what extent trying to replicate these digitally-altered photos can be damaging. After all, research has shown that unrealistic beauty standards can have powerful negative consequences. You’ll find part 1 of Bored Panda's article series about the ‘Goddess Women’ IG page right here.
The ‘Goddess Women’ IG page is slightly controversial and gets people fired up, whichever side of the fence they fall on because the social issues that the account draws attention to have very tangible effects on people, especially young women.
On the one hand, you have people who very openly love looking at aesthetic content on social media. They believe that the ‘Goddess Women’ page is all about using Photoshop and filters to create digital art (of sorts) and to show the founder’s interpretation of what they find to be beautiful. However, far from everyone thinks this way.
Emma Watson And Margot Robbie
Others are concerned that the IG page is making unrealistic, photo-edited beauty standards the norm. What’s more, there’s an underlying hint there that even though the photoshopped pictures do feature beautiful women, they also ignore the fact that it’s our ‘imperfections’ that can also make us look beautiful.
In other words, ‘perfection’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be because it doesn’t necessarily have as much character. Though research has shown that we’re all drawn to symmetry, that’s not the whole picture because, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as well.
Earlier, I’d reached out to Nuno Albuquerque, the Head of Treatment for the UK Addiction Treatment Group, and spoke to him about social media addiction. According to him, it’s a new phenomenon that even professionals in the field are learning more and more about each and every day.
Albuquerque explained that the line between being addicted to social media and being a regular user can be unique. However, the main point is to recognize whether or not someone has lost the power of choice. In short, if somebody can’t stop scrolling through social media or posting photos for likes on Instagram, then there’s a problem.
"If the person cannot undertake their regular day to day routine without being on social media or needing to get back to being on social media, as in they have potentially developed not only a psychological desire to be online but also physical urges begin as well, then there could well be an addiction there," he explained.
You can say that somebody has developed an unhealthy relationship with social media if they develop mental health issues from being online: feeling anxious or depressed because you’re using social media are examples of this.
“For some people we have treated at our UK Addiction Treatment Centres, being on social media is a trigger for them to then misuse drugs or alcohol,” Albuquerque explained that it’s not an isolated issue. “During therapy, we address why a person drinks alcohol or misuses drugs, and for some, it is because of their unhealthy relationship with social media.”
But what can be done about this? Well, Albuquerque pointed out that the most important piece of advice to take home is to be mindful and aware. That means checking in with yourself while using social media and afterward asking yourself how you feel.
“Can you now switch off and get on with your day? Any negative feelings or inability to move on from being online should be a red flag.” So keep that in mind when you check to see if you're addicted to social media and everything that this entails.
What do you think about the ‘Goddess Women’ Instagram page, dear Pandas? Do you enjoy the content the founder creates or do you think it helps promote unrealistic body standards? Let us know what you think about this and about any other social media-related issues in the comments!