We all want to look good in the pictures we post online, but it seems teens and tweens may be taking that to extremes. Girlguiding’s annual ‘Girls’ Attitudes’ survey of more than 2-thousand seven to 21-year-olds reveals about half of them regularly alter their photos to enhance their appearance online and “find acceptance.” And a third of them say they won’t post a selfie online without using a filter or app to change the way they look.
The survey also finds:
- About a third of these young women and girls have deleted photos that don’t get enough “likes” or comments.
- In the 11 to 21 age range, 39% of those polled say they feel upset they can’t look the same way in real life as they do online and 44% say their fear of having their body criticized has stopped them from agreeing to have a photo taken.
- In that same age group, 80% have considered changing how they look and more than half of them think this would boost their confidence.
- Over half of the girls surveyed admit they’ve felt pressured to change their appearance after seeing online ads and that number jumps to 67% for the girls who identify as LGBTQ.
- And two-thirds want to see new laws passed to stop them from being exposed to ads for weight loss and diets.
Girlguiding suggests that as these young girls and women spend more time online, the unrealistic images they see increases the pressures they already deal with.Phoebe Kent,a 20-year-old Girlguiding advocate says she puts the blame on influencer culture, calling it one of the most damaging things to come out of social media. She says now that she’s older, she’s able to recognize that filtered photos on social media make people look unrealistically good, but that “for younger girls and young women, it just absolutely knocks your self-esteem.”