Is Your Instagram Hurting Your Self Esteem?

Caitlin S. Miller
instagram self esteem Is Your Instagram Hurting Your Self Esteem?

Photo: Eugenio Marongiu/Getty Images

Have you every scrolled through your Instagram feed and immediately felt as if everyone you follow on social media has perfect hair, impeccable skin, and lives in a completely photogenic world? (Seriously, how are their photos that good?) Although heavy-handed filters and unrealistically staged Grams are likely the reason for these seemingly perfect posts, it’s easy to assume everyone on social media is living a perfect life. And according to a recent study, this visually-driven culture might actually be harmful to your self esteem.

According to a new study from Weight Watchers UK, women criticism themselves at least eight times a day, with the first critique coming before most of us have even had our first cup of coffee. Yikes. Forty-six percent of women surveyed admitted to criticizing themselves before 9:30 a.m! And 89 percent of participants shared they often give others compliments in a way they would never give themselves.

The new #WomanKind study surveyed 2,000 women in the UK to find out why women are so unkind to themselves. Interestingly, research found it’s actually visual cultural practices and norms—such as checking Instagram—that’s a huge driving force in making women so hard on themselves.

“Today’s hectic and visually-driven world has meant that we’re seeing a rise in women being self-critical, from the way they look to the way they feel at work,” said Zoe Griffiths, Weight Watchers Head of Public Heath and Programme in a statement. “Our research has shown that being unkind to ourselves has been an underlying theme for women for many years, but a set of very modern cultural conditions have increased the intensity of this unkindness which are hard to avoid.”

So the next time you scroll through your Instagram and think how fabulous your friends lives are, take a step back and give yourself a compliment instead. After all, you’re pretty fabulous, too!

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