Opinion: Social media is double edged sword and here’s why

Social media heightens the idea of the ‘perfect’ female body. This changes every year, and every year women are faced with having to fit that mould.

A decade ago it was a slim model’s figure now it’s a curvy hour glass.

When a woman posts a photo of themselves online, people on the internet take to their keyboards to tear others down. Society must ask themselves: in a world so diverse why is this always occurring? In a society that preaches about mental health and accepting yourself for who you are, why do we still see the same issues time and time again?

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Most recently, singer and songwriter Billie Eilish took to the front cover of British Vogue. Billie wore corsets and lingerie, showcasing a pin-up style look, something that was so unlike anything we have seen her in. Her confidence is clear but that did not stop people on the internet sexualising the young woman. People told her that she should be setting an example for her young followers.

The 19-year-old musician is setting an example, she is highlighting that people should feel comfortable and confident about themselves. Something which is a brilliant example for a young generation growing up in such a judgmental and diverse world.

She is typically seen in baggy clothes that hides her figure, made people question why has she changed? The simple answer is she has grown up. She is in control of what she chooses to wear. She is in control of her own body. Nobody’s opinion should change that.

 

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Society today is constantly arguing that women should be comfortable in their own skin, but when that skin is shown they are told they should cover up. Everyone has skin, why should it matter what form our bodies take?

What people choose to wear should not be for other peoples pleasure, it should be for yourself. If you like the way something looks on yourself why should it matter if people think your skirt is too short, or if they don’t think the colour of a top suits you. Whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, sometimes that opinion is wholly unnecessary.

Social media has led people to believe that they need to photoshop their posts, that people need to act a certain way, do and say certain things for likes. The approval of complete strangers has become the embodiment of social media.

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How can this change? Unfortunately there is no simple solution except time. Change on this scale is not something which can happen over night. Sometimes the acts of these people; or ‘trolls’ which they are commonly known as, cannot be changed. Their views and ideologies are one of the things that tend to be set in stone.

Cyber bullying is a crime that can never be controlled no matter how much we try. Over time perhaps with the evolution of technology, the world can find a new way to monitor online hate and the upset that follows.

Bullying over social media is often overlooked. The common phrase of ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ is one of the biggest lies told to children. We need to teach children that words do hurt and that is why we shouldn’t say hateful things to others. But instead they are told to grow a thicker skin and to get over it. When they shouldn’t have to ‘get over’ anything.

Social media, whilst a brilliant tool, can also be a vicious weapon. A true modern day double edged sword.