All Women's Talk

7 Ways Selfies Change the Way You See Beauty ...

By Eliza

How you see beauty plays a big role in your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself on any given day. There are so many beautiful people out there, but society tends to want us all to conform to one standard and anyone who doesn’t isn’t considered good looking. Well, I say we’re all beautiful and who cares what the world says. However, despite the way I feel, there is a bunch of research on how selfies change how you see beauty. Read on so you can snap away without concern. Keep in mind that you might be a person who can take a selfie and move on, but it can interfere with some people’s lives, so try not to judge until you’ve read the entire list.

1 Obsession

Being obsessed with something isn’t inherently bad, but people who rely on selfies to satisfy their need to feel beautiful are at risk of mental health issues, according to research published in Time magazine. Becoming obsessed with getting the perfect selfie is often a result of bullying or low self-esteem, so if you find yourself snapping lots of photos of yourself day after day, it might be a good idea to seek some help so you can see that how you see beauty may be detrimental.

2 Approval

Maybe you don’t find yourself attractive, but when you post a selfie online, you get lots of compliments. Who doesn’t love that? This might be one of the perks of how a selfie can change your view of beauty. By receiving loads of positive words about your hair, your clothes or your make-up, you might start believing them for the true words that they really are, says Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. I was in high school before someone paid me a compliment that made me think that perhaps I wasn’t the ugly duckling after all. If that’s what selfies do for you, then more power to you. Be careful though, because the attention might get to you, which you’ll see in future points on this list.

3 Insecurity

Ok, here’s where the selfies of other people play a role in your perceptions of beauty. Looking at your friends’ selfies can make you feel bad about the way you look. According to self image experts at universities throughout the world, the more you look at other people’s selfies, the more you compare yourself to them, which can harm your overall self-esteem. Keep in mind that computer software and smartphone apps can alter a photo so you might not be seeing the real person in a selfie.

4 Eating Disorders

Before you blast me with negative comments, I studied eating disorders in grad school and have a pretty good idea how they work. I will say that selfies aren’t going to cause a dramatic number of eating disorders, nor should they be blamed for them. However, when you end up with a preoccupation with another woman’s size and shape, it can change the way you see yourself, which for some girls can lead to disordered eating.

5 Self-Indulgence

Much like someone can become obsessed with taking the perfect selfie, some people are also susceptible to self-indulgence as a result of selfies. For sure, it’s extreme and not all that common, but research published in Psychology Today notes that posting loads of selfies is just a way to get lots of attention based on your looks, which is a narcissistic trait that can interfere with everyday life.

6 Lack of Support

Let’s be honest. You probably get tired of those posed and provocative selfies you see from some of your friends; I mean, come on, fifteen in one hour? The truth is that obsessive selfies can alienate friends and family, according to researchers in the U.K., not to mention make you think someone is less beautiful. After all, someone who irritates you isn’t as good looking after time. Have you ever noticed that? Lots of selfies can lead people to think you’re shallow and only care about looks, say the researchers, which can lead to weaker relationships.

7 Inaccuracy

Clearly, selfies are not always accurate portrayals of how someone looks. A good portion of them aren’t spur of the moment, but are heavily staged to produce the best result. Keep that in mind when you look at selfies and remember that beauty looks different on everyone, so you are the beautiful one, no matter whose selfie you’re looking at.

The once in a while selfie is not going to be an issue, so don’t freak about the photo you posted on Facebook yesterday. It’s the constant stream selfies that can pose problems. What do you think of selfies?

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