How we see ourselves and our perceptions about ourselves is what shapes our views on the world and how we think others view us. One aspect that we rely heavily on for this is our body. How we look has the ability to dictate how we feel about ourselves. Throughout our life, our body goes through various changes, all of which may not be pleasant. With the advent of social media, there is an added emphasis to look a certain ‘perfect’ way.
With the advances of technology, there are several applications available to alter how one looks – from changing the size of our eyes or mouth, changing our skin colour, editing our hairstyles – everything is possible. By constantly experimenting with applications that enable this, the self perception gets altered. By believe that one must look a certain way, several filters are used to achieve a ‘desirable’ image. A disconnect then arises when an individual looks into the mirror and see an unfiltered body. A discrepancy between what one believes they should be and what one is can create a dischord and cause various psychological problems.
In the adolescence phase specifically, one goes through physical changes and development of secondary sexual characteristics. The physical development brings natural perceptivity and inquisitiveness to explore bodily changes. At this age, placing an emphasis on a unrealistic standard of beauty when the child is highly impressionable can cause a lowered self esteem.
If any distorted belief is formed, it hampers acceptance of self and undue internal conflict. This can lead to problems such as eating disorders, depression, social anxiety and even suicidal ideation. These concerns should be acknowledged and right guidance should be given to see how best to enable an individual to accept themself.