The art of comparison: how Instagram is detrimental to female self-esteem 

I’ve had severe ups and downs with Instagram. It’s both my favourite and worst social media app. Because on the outside, it’s aesthetically pleasing to scroll through people’s seemingly perfect lives, perfect selfies, perfect food and their perfect relationships. But we often forget, usually, a huge amount of effort has gone into constructing these images. It’s fake.

As females we all have days where we are insecure. And unfortunately with social media girls of younger and younger ages are aware of their looks – and feeling an innate pressure to be conventionally attractive. Adhering to false beauty standards portrayed on social media. Now Instagram, being a visually based app – and thriving off of a like for like and comment for comment culture can breed self esteem issues.

Of course, it’s not a new concept for the media to convey unattainable beauty standards. This has been the case for traditional media platforms for most of cultural history, however the online realm; and in particular Instagram has accelerated this. Let me tell you why.

The app itself is, of course, irresponsible for a high increase in young girls developing mental health issues plagued by body image or self esteem. It’s how the app is used, and the nature of the characteristics of the app. It’s so fast moving, that users often feel pressure to upload. They have followers and ‘Insta celebrities’ they aspire to be like – and therefore this often breeds a competitive nature. Or a feeling of inferiority.

The art of comparison is what is killing our young girls souls. Scrolling through pretentious images, constructed for social validation. Comparing yourself to images that are fake. Comparing your life, your goals, your face, your ass and your entirety to someone you’ve never even met.

Possibly one of the worst things you can do in the cut throat world of Instagram is to compare. You must must must always stay grounded, remembering that most of these images are socially constructed. And even if they aren’t, everyone progresses at their own pace in life. You are doing great and that’s all you need to watch.

Survival of the fittest.


  1. Michael Wood
    May 21, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    The top left photo seems to be either a super tanned Michelin man’s backside or a couple of over inflated rugby football bladders. If there are really females who think they should emulate that then it’s the human race that’s in trouble not just women.

    I refuse to wear cloths with advertising on them (Alligators e.g) because I resent paying for stuff and then giving it free advertising too. The answer to all this is that self respect and confidence in one’s own taste is all any human needs. Those whose personalities are so insipid that they have to hide behind someone else’s subjectivity deserve all the opprobrium they get.

  2. May 22, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Great post and so true!

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