How social media is affecting girls’ mental health


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- the vast majority of American teens use social media in one form or another.
A recent study surveyed Instagram users and found nearly 40% said their low self-esteem began when they started using the app.

The clinical supervisor at the Hamilton Center, Missy Burton, says she sees girls using social media as a way to seek approval. She also notes that it is important for girls to realize that they are not alone and that many people suffer the same issues. 

“Even those supermodels a lot of times those pictures are doctored to make them look thinner and to make their complexion more perfect. Even supermodels look in the mirror and don’t like themselves oftentimes” says Burton. 

Social media can be detrimental to one’s mental health by causing girls to compare themselves to others. Other aspects that add to mental health issues are filters and editing tools. Although filters can be fun to play around with, many times they hurt girls’ confidence. Filters have the power to tweak insecurities and erase blemishes making girls wish they looked like that in real life, when in reality it is an unattainable goal. 

Elizabeth Hallal was crowned Miss Southern Heartland on September 18th, 2021. She says social media can be a powerful tool to connect with others, but it can also be damaging to one’s mental health. She finds filters to be especially dangerous to girls’ self-esteem. She says girls are beautiful just the way they are and there shouldn’t be certain beauty standard for them to have to strive for. 

“It’s just a beauty standard that we can’t live up to. it’s also hard when you’re the person using it to be like I don’t look like that, but because we’re pushed to believe that that is what is beautiful, we can’t recognize that this is also gorgeous” says Hallahl. 

Miss Southern Heartland Oustanding Teen is thirteen years old and is already feeling the negative effects of social media. 

“In reality, it’s just when you take off the filter it’s just like woah like that’s not what I really look like” says Chattin. 

Chattin shares a powerful message aimed towards girls suffering from confidence issues. 

“You’re beautiful just the way you are. you came into the world and you should be who you are you shouldn’t have to worry about being perfect” says Chattin.

If you or you child is suffering from mental health issues click here for a link to The Hamilton Center’s Services. 

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