Social Media Promotes an Unrealistic Lifestyle for Women

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1224 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 1224|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rise of Social Media Influencers
  3. Promotion of Unrealistic Body Image on Social Media
  4. Advantages of Social Media
  5. Conclusion
  6. References


Instagram is an online mobile social networking site (SNS) that allows users to capture and share their experiences, has become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Social media created an entirely new type of influencers and changed the way for generating, collecting, and sharing information and how people contribute to contentment. Over the past decade in the United States (U.S.) blogs have become an important space for women to create and further develop the beauty and self-image in American culture. Through discussion about beauty and body image, are women’s perceptions of their looking-glass self built on confidence or are women building on an unhealthy lifestyle to try and keep up with the world running ahead?

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The Rise of Social Media Influencers

Of Instagram’s 400 million users, 55 percent are between the ages of 18 and 29 years of age (accessed February 16, 2017). Research indicates that youths’ SNS behavior does require exploration and self-representation, which is potentially associated with identity development (Subrahmanyam K, Smahel D. 2011). Are SMS users driven by a sense of belonging, a need for connection, or acceptance? Self-esteem refers to an individual’s positive or negative appraisal of the self; that is, the extent to which the individual views the self as worthwhile and competent (Rosenberg M., 1965). Research has found that social media users express their need for support, which in turn, predicts increased psychological well-being (Kim J. Lee JR. Behavior and Social Networking 2011). On the contrary, studies have also reported that SNSs have also promoted an unhealthy dependence on approval from others to authenticate an individual’s self-worth (Manago AM. 2014). Findings from a 2012 study suggested that self worth is another factor that may explain individual differences in the effects of social media usage (Lee SK, Moore, 2012). Other researchers in the field have argued that not all events, whether they are good or bad, affect individual self-esteem equally (Crocker J, Wolfe CT, 2001); it depends on how connected the events are to their contingencies of self worth.

Promotion of Unrealistic Body Image on Social Media

Nowadays, preoccupation with body image has taken on an increasing role. Human behavior is being influenced by the media and society. Women not achieving their idea of beauty can cause body dissatisfaction which can lead to low self-esteem. Body image is characterized as the perception of the image of the body formed in the mind. Body image is thought to be comprised of two dimensions: the affective/cognitive (attitude towards the body) and the perceptive (Allgood-Merten B, 1990). Body dissatisfaction derives from the cognitive process of comparison, self-evaluation and self-rejection, which can be managed by education and guidance (Baile Ayensa JI, Guillen Grima F, Garrido Landivar E. 2002). Being unhappy with one’s body may lead to mental and physical health issues. Females are continuously influenced by social media and may feel that they aren’t holding up to the media’s standards because they are dissatisfied with not having an ideal body. The standards of beauty may influence a female’s perception of her body (Pesa JA, Syre TR, Jones E. 2000). Self-perception is influenced by environmental factors, including the norms, ideals and values of the dominant culture (Markus H. 1977). For example, imagine that a female doesn’t think she has an ideal body image than she may suffer from negative emotions; conversely, an overweight female with positive feelings towards her body, despite the reality of her body weight, would be less likely to suffer from negatives feelings.

Despite the negative research on social media and mental health within women, social media today is also used professionally and educationally. Social media is everywhere in today’s world. Social media platforms have been advocated to facilitate academic networking, the dissemination of knowledge, collaboration with peers and learner engagement (Kind T, Patel 2014). Recently, researchers made news when they used statistical models to determine if women using social media live longer. Their analysis of 12 million social media profiles against the California Department of Public Health vital records show that hypothesis to be true, but only for people receiving requests to connect as friends online. There is no association with reduced mortality for people initiating online friendships (Hobbs WR, Burke M, Christakis NA, 2016). For several years, clinicians have used social media to change health behavior, with direct benefits accruing to SNS users (Laranjo L, Arguel A, Neves AL, 2015). There is new research that found longevity benefits of using social media.

Advantages of Social Media

There are positive aspects to social media. Social media has helped enhance teaching learners. Moreover, women have continued to rise and help shape the trending world of social media. A beauty blogger promotes herself within the world of makeup, fashion and trends to pass along their knowledge on beauty products to the world of social media. Women are able to become successful by advertising products and the beauty of it that you no longer need a high school diploma to do so. Social media is a positive tool to use when you focus on the positives of it. Fit bloggers, are not only helping beginners that are starting a better lifestyle with workout routines, but they also help promote healthy eating. Women who struggle with social skills, social anxiety, or who don’t have easy access to face-to-face socializing with other women might benefit from connecting with others through social media. When women connect with small groups of supportive females via social media, those connections can be the difference between living in isolation and finding support.


While women can use social media to connect and create friendships with others, they also confront cyberbullying, trolls, toxic comparisons, sleep deprivation, and less frequent face-to-face interactions, to name a few. Too much time spent scrolling through social media can result in symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.                      


  1. Subrahmanyam, K., & Smahel, D. (2011). Digital youth: The role of media in development. Springer Science & Business Media.

  2. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton University Press.

  3. Kim, J., & Lee, J. R. (2011). The Facebook paths to happiness: Effects of the number of Facebook friends and self-presentation on subjective well-being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(6), 359-364.

  4. Manago, A. M., Taylor, T., & Greenfield, P. M. (2012). Me and my 400 friends: The anatomy of college students' Facebook networks, their communication patterns, and well-being. Developmental psychology, 48(2), 369.

  5. Crocker, J., & Wolfe, C. T. (2001). Contingencies of self-worth. Psychological review, 108(3), 593-623.

  6. Baile Ayensa, J. I., Guillén Grima, F., & Garrido Landívar, E. (2002). Obesity and body image in the media. Nutricion hospitalaria, 17(5), 225-229.

  7. Pesa, J. A., Syre, T. R., & Jones, E. (2000). Psychosocial differences associated with body weight among female adolescents: The importance of body image. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26(5), 330-337.

  8. Markus, H. R. (1977). Self-schemata and processing information about the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35(2), 63-78.

  9. Kind, T., & Patel, P. D. (2014). What’s a “like” got to do with it? evaluating the use of social media to foster connectedness within the clinical learning environment. Academic Medicine, 89(9), 1246-1250.

  10. Hobbs, W. R., Burke, M., & Christakis, N. A. (2016). The data-driven life: Making the most of 12,000 Facebook profiles. PloS one, 11(5), e0154378.

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  11. Laranjo, L., Arguel, A., & Neves, A. L. (2015). The influence of social networking sites on health behavior change: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 22(1), 243-256.

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Social Media Promotes an Unrealistic Lifestyle for Women. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from
“Social Media Promotes an Unrealistic Lifestyle for Women.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
Social Media Promotes an Unrealistic Lifestyle for Women. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 11 Dec. 2023].
Social Media Promotes an Unrealistic Lifestyle for Women [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2023 Dec 11]. Available from:
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