By Ruby Solomon, Guest Blogger
Growing up, I have been privileged enough to gain access to all sorts of electronics. It's a blessing and a curse. If I want to keep in touch with an old friend or make plans with a new one, texting is the way to go. But the one most prominent thing about growing up in the digital world of 13-year-old girls and boys is that they are always sharing. They could be sharing a photo on their Instagram or uploading a new picture to add on their snapchat story. These kids look for validation from their peers, their friends, family, people they barely know but have heard of before, but no matter who it is, the desire to feel well-liked is a constant need for teenagers in 2015.
The new thing is deleting a picture off of Instagram if they don't get say 50 likes in one hour, even if the person really likes the photo. Without a lot of likes, it seems to be a poor reflection on themselves. Some girls feel insecure about taking pictures of their whole body because they don't have a thigh gap (which is when your thighs don't touch when you put your feet together). In the ending result, these girls will put all of their weight on the outside of their feet to make a gap between their legs and crop out the bottom part of the picture. These girls need validation from others around them to make themselves feel better.
I know these girls and have seen their pictures on Instagram and snapchat. I am not one of these girls, and for that, I am fortunate to not doubt who I am on the inside or out. I can't help but feel confused and upset that our society creates platforms geared toward girls feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. But as I've learned in science, with negative there is always a positive.
Girls are coming up with ways to reject the expectations of media by doing many creative things. Some girls cover their faces to show that they don't want people to criticize them. It's their way of blocking out negativity. There are hashtags, comments, and videos that are trending throughout social media to raise awareness for girl power.
Social media can easily be a space for negative behavior, enforcing the worst images of ourselves, BUT it doesn't have to be this way. It can be a powerful force for girl empowerment and to help raise awareness everywhere. Think about it next time you post, like, or just view a photo, and spread the goodness.
Let's chat! How do you feel about social media? How can you help spread the message pf being beautifully YOU? Share with us here!
Ruby goes to The Willows Community School and is 13 years old. She loves creative writing and loves all sorts of animals, like penguins!
image via golivzo.com