Is social media helping or hurting?

Read my full presentation here.

There are many examples of social media and the internet being hurtful. Young teens are very easily able to find images and ‘motivational’ poems and phrases online. These are found by simply searching for phrases or hashtags such as #ana, #thinspo and #mia. They can find phrases such as ‘My best friend Ana’ which personifies anorexia and gives the impression that it is someone they can rely on.

On the other hand, there are many examples of social media helping to fight against eating disorders and Photoshop. Two social media sites which are visibly helping are Tumblr and Instagram. Both of these photo-sharing sites now give a content advisory statement before showing you images if you search for terms in relation to eating disorders. Both sites also give a link to support sites and counselling pages.

There are also many celebrities setting very good examples of being against Photoshop and photo editing. Jessica Simpson refused make up and retouching in a photo shoot she did for Marie Claire magazine. Beyonce was also outraged when she found out her photos for her H&M campaign had been edited to make her curves smaller. More good examples like these have to be set in order for people to realise the differences the Photoshop makes in the advertisements we see every day.


My presentation – In detail

Find my presentation in full here


My topic is based on how our perception of beauty has changed in recent years and how this has been mainly caused by the introduction and popularization of digital tools such as Photoshop. The main reason I chose this topic was because photo manipulation is everywhere. We see it every day in advertising, on the covers of magazines and especially online. Social media is the main source of photo-shopped images and is used to spread photo edited images to everyone. This spread has been majorly influenced by the introduction of photo-sharing websites such as Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. An example of Photoshop that is very much popular right now is Kim Kardashian’s ‘Break the Internet’ campaign for Paper magazine. In this photo we are shown a very curvy and voluptuous Kim Kardashian yet when we see the original photo without editing we see that Ms Kardashians assets aren’t what we are shown.

kim k

This dishonesty in industries such as fashion and make up are very harmful to people all over the world. Photo shop is not only used on women but has also been used on male celebrities. Editing techniques that are most commonly used in order to give the appearance of beauty are the smoothing out of skin in order to make it look perfect, bigger and brighter eyes and especially skinnier curves. Photo shop has even been used on advertisements for food in order to make them more appetising and appealing to us. The actual food item we get is unfortunately much smaller or not as appetising as the images we are shown.