Social media, like Disney World, was supposed to be the happiest place on Earth until we realized it may be doing more harm than good. Especially when it comes to the so-called Insta aesthetics that promote heavily altered and photoshopped images to show a flawless physique. And as they have now become the norm, people are also realizing the damage they are doing to our self-esteem, mental health, and body image.
One Twitter user @ivadixit has spoken out against the new “trend among aesthetic Instagram accounts” that take old pictures of female celebrities and run them through face alteration apps to give them the hot Insta look. The problem is that the women in the images are already extremely beautiful, and Photoshop is only taking them further away from reality.
While people on social media are showing their mixed feelings about this trend, let’s take a look at the Insta-hot celebrity edits to find out what all this stir is about.
We all seem to know the fact that social media is not the best place for anyone suffering from poor body image and low self esteem, especially teenagers who tend to be at their most vulnerable. The recent #StatusOfMind survey, which covered almost 1,500 teens and young adults, showed that Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing.
And even though it got points for self-expression and self-identity, the survey revealed the platform is associated with anxiety, depression, bullying, and the fear of missing out. The latter is precisely the reason why so many young people still use the platform, even though they’re aware of the negative effect it has on them.
"Seeing friends constantly on holiday or enjoying nights out can make young people feel like they are missing out while others enjoy life,” the #StatusOfMind report states. “These feelings can promote a ‘compare and despair’ attitude.”
This is especially true when it comes to hugely popular beauty and fashion posts. Instagram users have created the whole Insta-hot look that features a perfectly glammed-up face, a carefully arranged background, flawless plump skin, and full lips. This cyborgian look was further escalated by social media influencers, Facetune, and plastic surgery.
Catherine Zeta Jones
And even if magazines have long edited photos of celebrities, thanks to Photoshop, Facetune, and other selfie alteration apps, the picture-perfect look has become available to virtually anyone.
As the boundaries of real and fictional are increasingly blurred, it may be easy to forget that many of the images on social media are chasing down a look that was never born in the real world. Lifeless and even terrifying, it begs us to rethink how we allowed these distorted beauty standards to become the norm.
Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.