One reason to blame for this could be because of the endless hours we spend on our devices. We scroll through Instagram, just sitting around looking at how other people look or what they are doing. This is having such a negative effect on teenagers are perceiving themselves.
We are being exposed to things that we are viewing as "better" than what we are doing and how we look, or literally "more liked". If teens aren't gaining as many likes or as much attention as someone else is, it starts to make them question multiple things about themselves. This, in turn, makes teenagers think that they need to change aspects of themselves so that they will become more likable.
This is going to sound cliché, and you have probably heard it a million times, but I think teenagers need to learn how to tune everyone else out and learn to just be themselves. I think we need to stop holding other people's opinions about ourselves with such weight because as soon as we hear one negative thing about ourselves, we think we aren't good enough. Teenagers need to learn to gain more confidence.
So, teens, try this for me.
Unfollow the "negative" accounts. If you constantly have to scroll past that fitness model or that bodybuilder that makes you feel like your body isn't good enough, unfollow them. There isn't a benefit to you having to see what they're doing, posing in their leggings and sports bra, or flexing their muscles after doing five push-ups.
Follow pages that make you feel good about yourself. For the ladies, follow Aerie. This company uses realistic looking models to advertise their products, giving a more refreshing feed to scroll through. Find pages with positive quotes, hobbies that you like, or even your favorite funny celebrity (Ellen DeGeneres, Liza Kosh, Chris Hemsworth). Just try and fill your feed with more positivity, get rid of all the toxic posts.
It takes just around a month to start a habit. So, for 30 days, write down three positive things about yourself daily. This will teach you to think of yourself in a more positive light, without anyone having to tell you any of these amazing things about yourself. You will be reminding yourself why you love you.
Take care of yourself. Have a spa day, do a face mask, go on a run, or even go to the gym. Just do something that makes you feel better!
Now to everyone, don't let other people "dull your sparkle". Start having confidence for yourself so when someone makes a rude comment or you're scrolling through social media, you're able to tell yourself, "I am perfect the way I am".