Social media and cosmetic procedures: how are the pressures of body image affecting us?
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Social media is inextricably ingrained in the day-to-day lives of many. Online, we have the power to curate a life that is virtually perfect. With endless images of filtered smiles and smoothed skin, the online world is bursting with edited beauty. There are undoubtedly a great number of positives of social media. Perhaps its greatest strength is that it can build and maintain countless relationships across the world, and its ability to shape and alter online lives also has the potential to boost self-esteems. However, although social media can have positive effects, it can also greatly damage the relationships we have with ourselves. Online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are contributing to major body image issues in society, creating traps in which we compete and compare ourselves to others. "Likes" can be seen as ratings on images, placing pressure on people to have idealised appearances on social media. The online illusions of perfection can be convincing, and there is an ever-growing expectation that we should hide, and even change, our human imperfections.
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