Home Wellness Likes, Shares, Radiant Skin: The Impact of Social Media on Beauty Standards

Likes, Shares, Radiant Skin: The Impact of Social Media on Beauty Standards

Likes, Shares, Radiant Skin: The Impact of Social Media on Beauty Standards

Social media have become an essential part of our lives, influencing the way we communicate, share information, and perceive ourselves and others. It also has an impact on the way we perceive beauty standards. In this article from The Dermo Lab, we’ll look at the impact of social media on beauty criteria and how it has influenced our perception of beauty.

How are beauty criteria evolving?

Beauty criteria have evolved over the years. What was considered beautiful a few decades ago is no longer so today. The definition of beauty is constantly changing and is influenced by many factors. In the past, beauty criteria were influenced by the media, celebrities, and cultural values. However, with the rise of social media, beauty criteria have become more complex.

Social media have played an important role in defining beauty standards. It has created an idealized version of beauty that is difficult to achieve. Social media have made it easier for people to compare themselves to others, and have created a constant need to strive for perfection. This has led to an increase in demand for cosmetic procedures and products.

Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have become a breeding ground for influencers and celebrities to showcase their perfect bodies, faces, and lifestyles. They have created a new standard of unrealistic, unattainable beauty. This has led to an increase in body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and the desire to undergo cosmetic procedures.

The increase in demand for cosmetic procedures has led to a rise in the number of unqualified practitioners performing these procedures. The result is an increase in botched procedures and complications.

How does social media affect mental health?

The influence of social media goes beyond issues of self-esteem and body image and poses significant challenges to our mental health. Constant exposure and engagement on social media platforms have been linked to a variety of mental health issues.

  • Self-esteem

Scrolling through social media news feeds, we can easily fall victim to unrealistic beauty standards. The pressure to conform to these impossible standards can have a significant impact on our self-esteem, leaving us feeling unworthy and dissatisfied with our own appearances. It then becomes difficult to embrace our unique characteristics and accept ourselves as we are.

  • Body image

Social media also perpetuates a culture of body dissatisfaction. Advertisements and sponsored content often target our vulnerabilities and exploit our desire for perfection. By presenting products and services that promise to correct our perceived imperfections, social media unwittingly reinforces the idea that we’re not good enough just as we are. This perpetuates a cycle of constant consumption, as we seek to achieve an elusive standard of beauty and perfection, which ultimately fuels the consumer-driven economy.

  • Eating disorders

Social media can contribute to the development or exacerbation of existing eating disorders. The constant flow of images presenting idealized and often unattainable bodies can trigger body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. The comparison culture fostered by social media can lead to a preoccupation with appearance and unhealthy relationships with food.

  • Anxiety and depression

Constant exposure to carefully crafted posts and the pressure to present a perfect version of one’s life online can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and self-comparison, leading to increased levels of anxiety. In addition, social media platforms can be a breeding ground for negative social interactions, cyberbullying, and online harassment, which can have a significant impact on mental well-being and contribute to the development or worsening of depression.

What are the strategies for a balanced social media experience?

Although social media has its pitfalls, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon it altogether. You can cultivate a healthy relationship with these platforms by adopting thoughtful practices and setting boundaries. Here are a few strategies for fostering a positive, balanced social media experience:

1- Be critical of what you see

Develop critical thinking skills to distinguish between real and idealized representations on social media. Recognize that images are often edited and filtered, and question the authenticity of what you see in your social media news feed.

2- Organize your news feed

Take control of your social media experience by following accounts that not only promote body positivity and mental health awareness, but also resonate with your personal journey towards self-improvement and holistic well-being.

Consider connecting with influencers who embody authenticity, such as life coaches who offer motivational tips, people who display a healthy lifestyle while feeling good about themselves, and dietitians who share valuable nutritional advice. These influencers can be sources of inspiration, offering ideas and strategies for meeting life’s challenges with resilience and grace. 

By surrounding yourself with positive influences, you’ll cultivate a virtual environment that nourishes your mind, body and soul, promoting growth and self-acceptance.

3- Set limits

Set clear limits on your use of social media. Avoid mindless browsing before bed or immediately after waking, as this can disrupt sleep and contribute to feelings of anxiety. Designate technology-free zones or periods during the day to disconnect and recharge.

4- Practice mindful consumption

Be aware of your emotional state when browsing social media. If you notice feelings of comparison, envy, or dissatisfaction popping up, take a break and engage in activities that uplift you and nourish your well-being.

5- Encourage real-life relationships

Prioritize face-to-face interactions and build meaningful relationships offline. Cultivate connections with family, friends, and communities in your physical environment, resulting in a more balanced and fulfilling social experience.

6- Seek support

If you find that your use of social media is harming your mental health, consider speaking to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor. They can help you better understand your feelings and develop healthy strategies for managing and coping with them.

Remember that social media is a tool that can be used positively or negatively. By implementing these strategies and prioritizing your mental well-being, you can harness the benefits of social media while mitigating its potential drawbacks. By consciously engaging with social media, you can change its impact and foster a healthier digital space.

Key insights:

  • In an age when idealized images flood our timelines, social media have created an illusion of perfection.
  • The pressure to conform to society’s standards of beauty can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem, body image, and overall mental health.
  • By cultivating media literacy, setting boundaries, and prioritizing self-acceptance, we can navigate the social media landscape in a healthier, more positive way.


Social media have had a significant impact on beauty standards. It has created an idealized version of beauty that is unrealistic and unattainable, leading to increased demand for cosmetic procedures and products. Social media have also contributed to an increase in body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem, which can have long-term effects on mental health. To combat the negative effects of social media on beauty standards, it’s important to promote positivity and body acceptance, pay attention to the content we consume on social media, and seek professional help if necessary. By doing so, you can create a healthier, more positive relationship with beauty standards.

Last Updated on March 12, 2024

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