Confidence is key


Katie Berry, Reporter

Think about it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all seen a famous icon on social media and immediately started comparing ourselves to them. We think to ourselves, “Wow, this person is really well known, how can I be like them?” Things like this make self-esteem levels decrease so fast, and they shouldn’t. People would have so much more confidence and respect for themselves if they stopped comparing themselves to other people in the first place.

The thing is, a person stands out more when they just glow with confidence, but it can go away in an instant the moment that person sees someone in the media they think has a higher social status. It could be someone who many people see as attractive or just someone who gets lots of likes and followers on a social media platform. We not only compare ourselves to social media icons, but to peers and friends too. When this happens, we start looking for ways to change ourselves, and we want to change ourselves so we can look or be like someone else. Someone else shouldn’t make you change the way you see yourself.

According to Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that empowers young women through advocacy, Indiana girls are more likely than the national average to take diet pills, vomit or take laxatives to lose weight. According to the Indiana Government website, 5 to 15 percent of adolescent girls practice Bulimia nervosa, which is when one eats excessively and then throws up in an attempt to control their own weight. That’s just one way people are trying to change themselves. Not only is it unhealthy, but it’s dangerous for your body as well. Girls Inc.’s website says that they are helping this problem by leading discussions with young girls mainly about discovering the value of their bodies as resources rather than objects.

Another negative about comparing to icons is that they increase the levels of stress, suicidal thoughts and depression in young teens. Evidently, these issues show up more in teen girls rather than boys. According to Girls Inc., 20.4 percent of Indiana girls consider suicide, and 11.5 percent have reported attempting suicide at least once.

Girls often compare to those icons and their posts and think to themselves, “they’re so beautiful, their life must be so perfect.” They think this but, in actuality, a picture can only tell so much. Overall, most people choose to post the brighter sides of their lives on social media, rather than the darker sides. For example, a person can post about their relationship all over social media and a person can think, “they look so happy together,” but the relationship could be infused with untold drama, unhappiness and lies. This can also lead to many other problems that can be key factors in an unhealthy relationship, but not everyone wants to share that for the public to know.

All-in-all, looks can be so deceiving, especially when what’s on social media nowadays only reflects the brighter side of one’s life. If you step back and look at the bigger picture, you’ll realize that there are other people on those social media platforms that you can look up to, but they often face the same struggles, thoughts and problems. They’re just like you and I. So when it comes down to it, everyone needs to stop trying to compare themselves to social media figures and, more personally, peers. In the end, confidence is key, and you shouldn’t let a picture or someone who’s held so high up in networking society bring you or your self-esteem down.