Study: Social media detrimental to women’s self image

WASHINGTON — It’s hard to believe that, in 2014, a woman’s self-esteem can be shaken by what she sees on social media.

We have women fighting in war zones and heading up major corporations. Maybe one day soon, the President of the United States will be a woman.

Still, we measure ourselves against others by how pretty we are.

In 1984, Glamour Magazine asked 1,000 readers how they felt about their bodies, and 41 percent responded “not great.” Recently, the magazine asked 1,000 more women — ages 18 to 40 — the same questions.

The results, according to Glamour Editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, were “startling and not great.”

Now, 54 percent of women surveyed don’t feel great about their bodies, Leive told the Today Show. Over half the women surveyed felt more insecure about themselves than did their predecessors 30 years ago.

So what’s the problem? “The more time a woman spends on social media, the worse she feels about her body,” Leive says.

Women have now emerged as the biggest users of social media — including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

According to the Glamour study, women spend more than four hours a day online; half of that time is spent comparing themselves — not to celebrities, but their peers.

“Celebrities, we all know, have a lot of help with their appearance,” Leive continues.

As a result, women look at pictures of friends, relatives and co-workers, which increases their body unhappiness.

But there were some positive answers given in the study by women who were fine with the way they looked. The reasons, Leive points out, is they exercise, eat right and limit the amount of time spent on social media.

Leive suggests women do a self-check: “Ask yourself: Do I feel better, or do I feel worse about myself when I log off?”

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