Social Comparison In Social Media

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“Instagram”, “Pinterest”, or “Thinterest”? In the recent years, the proliferation in social media has played an outsized role in the communication cultural stereotypes about the aesthetics of body image. Being intensified by social media, the positive and negative consequences on the standards of beauty are in the realm of social comparison. Leon Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory says that: “People evaluate their opinions and abilities by comparison respectively with the opinions and abilities of others” (Festinger, 2007). With that, it is no wonder many perceive that social constructed ideals towards beauty encourage positive self-worth within individual. However, behind this unrealistic illusion of perfect beauty, it has led to several…show more content…
It is true that physical appearance provides women with feelings of self-worth and personal value, particularly when an ideal body represents success and ultimate perfection. For instance, the social network sites (SNS) like Facebook or Instagram encourage “clicking like” on photos or comments. As each photo has a permanent number associated with how well-liked it is, that number represents their reality – their popularity, their acceptance, their attractiveness. Hence, the upward comparison of evaluating one’s status in comparison with others serve as a source of self-improvement (Eyal & Te’eni-Harari, 2013). This provides positive outcomes such as females becoming more health conscious and exercise obsessed in order to meet others’ judgements in the “warranting principle”. As a result, women are no longer emaciated and stick-straight, but fit and healthy.
Contrary to this, the concerns about perfect beauty are a reality check as the social costs outweigh the benefits of a promoted social comparison behaviour. I believe that the positive outcomes of social comparison in SNS is a mistaken deception. In fact, constant social comparison between themselves and the beauty ideal fuels the fluctuation of contemporary women’s self-esteem. Thereby, they resort to diet regime and cosmetic surgery to attain the ideal
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On the other hand, there is a large audience of contemporary females suffering from dissatisfaction or shame towards one’s appearances. This is because women are taught to base their self-esteem and self-worth upon what others consider attractive. Therefore, I believe the social comparison about the aesthetics of body image has done enough to amplify the detrimental effects such as pathological and disordered thoughts. The effects of over-obsession on cosmetic surgery and disordered eating have become today’s status symbols and societal norms. It is important for every individual to accept and internalise the socially sanctioned standards of beauty. Hence, the message I want to pass is “stay true to your real self” as authenticity is the true beauty of every
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