Are Instagram models really role models to follow?

By TYRA BROWNE

In our 21st century, social media-obsessed world, we are constantly surrounded by images of “Insta-famous” figures. Instagram has been around since 2010, but only more recently have Instagram models become a thing. Pretty much anyone can be a model thanks to Instagram, but whenever there’s a trend, there’s a model to follow — both literally and figuratively speaking, if you get what I mean.

Regardless of gender, many Instagram models have figures that could promote unattainable “body goals,” especially since everyone’s body type is different. I’m sure we’re all aware of how unachievable body standards can be poisonous to the mind. Imagery creates representations in our heads. Being bombarded with the same imagery repetitively doesn’t help our self-perceptions, especially if we find ourselves in an unstable state of mind (which the stress of college doesn’t exactly help). 

That’s why I think it’s important not only to find time for ourselves once in a while, but also to consistently keep our space — both our physical space and cyber — as positive as we can. Surround yourself with positive imagery and people, and the stress of college won’t be as bad when it actually starts hitting you.

I’m not saying that you can’t have someone as the model for your “body goals,” but be aware that plastic surgery and even Photoshop were probably involved in a handful of those famous figures that we’ve all seen, like Anastasiya Kvitko, the “Russian Kim Kardashian.” Not everyone’s surgery is as drastic nor are they as obvious, which is why you should choose who you idolize carefully. 

I encourage you to actually take a look at yourself if you’re having any self-conscious thoughts — figure out if you’re genuinely unhappy with how you look or if your insecurity is actually because you feel like you don’t meet society’s beauty standards. If it’s the former, then take time to work on yourself, even though that can be hard to do. If it’s the latter, I encourage you not to worry about those standards. I know: easier said than done. But work to find what you like about yourself and go out of your comfort zone, whether that’s through your clothing or by going out. Finally, surround yourself with people who are positive forces in your life and don’t be afraid to cut off those that aren’t. It’s a part of growing up and a lesson I’ve learned time and time again. 

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