Social media has become extremely influential over the years as many of it’s users are young adults. Within those young adults, we are focusing on young women for our project. Young women have been effected by social media in such a cruel way due to finding reasons to be “accepted” or “fit in”. In the film “Miss Representation” directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, she reveals the reality of women specifically when it comes to being an online user. The internet is full of cyber-bullying, hurtful words, and suicidal young adults. In this film, it proved that women were looked down upon and find themselves having low self-esteem while looking for approval from a man. The reason social media has become effective in positive and negative ways is because we spend majority of our day using it.
Young women become stronger targets when they are being sexualized in the media and being told what to look and act like, which is unfortunate for us. Newsom reassures us that people of the media have also caused a division between women as well; we find ourselves competing against each other to receive the attention that we feel we deserve. What adds to this. Self-representation has become a daily part of a young woman’s daily routine (I should say) but in a negative sense. Because of the people behind the media, women find it easier to attract with revealing clothing or concentrating more on their looks besides their knowledge. Newsom also brings up the point that young women are basically distracted by the media when in reality they should be comprehend that knowledge will take you farther than your looks; media is held responsible for this. Being socially accepted is more essential now, which is why it seemingly easier to be persuaded by the web.
Another article that ties to our topic of young women in social media is “the Impact of Social Media On Society” by Jacob Amedie. In this scholarly article, Amedia mentions that social media in fact has created more of a depressing environment rather than an uplifting one. Amedie discusses the social life of social media by using Facebook as an example. Again, the thought of being “accepted” comes up; this is where social comparison also becomes part of the discussion. Users have a tendency to compare themselves to other users based off of their reality that they are presenting online. First impressions are crucial but how we must we know exactly who someone through social media? Who are you offline? We could potentially be witnessing an illusion but yet we become more intrigued by the illusion. Amedia agrees that because social media is a world of it’s own, it has become one of the most depressive places for users to be. Therefore, imagine young women who attempt or commit suicide because of their physical appearance or mental stability.
“Why Don’t I Look Like Her” by Khendyl M. Klein also talks about self-representation for women and how their looks have overpowered their minds so drastically that they are comfortable enough to compare themselves to others and putting themselves in a depressed state of mind. Overall, this article brings a specific problem that young women face because of social media, and that is eating disorders. Eating disorders for young women has caused an extreme argument because social media is being held responsible for the rise in this health issue. Klein says that women in college are mostly effected by this because we are not yet fully over our puberty stage; we are still trying to find ourselves and who want to become at this point in our lives. Women have become increasingly dissatisfied with themselves. What is more concerning about this is that eating disorders classify as a “mental illness”. Young women are suffering and damaging themselves without even realizing it because participants of social media has told them what is accepted and what shouldn’t be accepted.
3. VIDEO: Siebel Newsom, J. (2011) Miss Representation. Virgil Films and Entertainment, LLC.