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Most women filter photos for social media posts; are you one of them?

Most women filter photos for social media posts; are you one of them?
Courtesy: Reuters

A new study, published to mark International Women's Day this week, has highlighted the pressure young females are feeling when it comes to appearance.

Research based on 175 women and nonbinary people in the UK revealed the overwhelming majority of participants are evening out skin tone, making themselves look thinner, bronzing or brightening the appearance of their skin, whitening their teeth or reshaping their nose or jaw.

"A critique of perfection ran through the research like a bass track, with young people telling me that they feel overwhelmed by images that are 'too perfect'," said Professor Rosalind Gill, from City, University of London's Gender and Sexualities Research Centre.

"Women of colour, disabled women and gender-nonconforming folk told me they rarely see anyone like them in the media."

Experts say the study identified anger toward mass media, with many participants revealing they feel it is "too white" and "too heterosexual" and has a narrow definition of beauty.

The widespread availability of smartphones and filtering apps, along with celebrities constantly posting seemingly flawless photos on their social media accounts, has only added to the burden of looking perfect.

"With nearly 100 million photos posted every single day on Instagram alone, we have never been such a visually dominated society," Professor Gill added.

"Posting on social media can produce the intense pleasure of 'getting likes' and appreciative attention, but it is also a source of huge anxiety for most young women. I was struck by young women saying to me again and again: 'I feel judged'."

Professor Gill also touched upon the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people. While maintaining a social media presence during lockdown may have helped some women feel less isolated, others have struggled with their self-confidence.

"In some ways, young people's familiarity with online tools and platforms better prepared them (relative to older groups) for the lockdown period in which so many aspects of life moved online – including work, education, psychological and health services, and social lives," the professor added.

"In other ways, as this report shows, they experienced heightened pressure and distress."

(Cover Media/Reuters)

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