THE BLOG

The Effect of Social Media in Young Girls

04/21/2014 02:22 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2014
Elisabeth Schmitt via Getty Images

In today's evolving society, there is no denying that pop culture, media and entertainment has a significant influence on us. It is everywhere we go. When we turn on the television, some company is marketing a new brand of clothing that is "the next best thing." In magazines geared towards teen readers, nearly every other page is filled with a Photoshopped image of a model advertising a line of cosmetics that is sure to make us feel "prettier" and "happier" because "we're worth it." In my opinion, I do not think that the correct notion is to believe that this can or needs to be "abolished," because in reality, businesses will still try to market their brands through conspicuous, often explicit, means.

However, I do believe that young girls need to learn how to perceive and react to social media, pop culture and entertainment in a more positive way. This isn't taught in schools, and I highly doubt that our parents can honestly understand social media to understand its effects.

The media advertises Photoshopped images of models that often influences girls to believe that if they buy this product or clothing of theirs, they will achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that is only achievable through this purchase. However, it has not been shown to give girls more "satisfaction" at all. Rather, it has proven the completely opposite effect. Recent studies have shown that there has been an increase in depression among girls that is linked with both obesity and can be caused by social media. As part of this "waterfall" effect, girls with obesity have been scientifically linked with having lower grades than girls who are not depressed or obese.

In other words,

1. Social media is prevalent in society today, and it has been scientifically linked with causing depression in young girls.

2. Depression is linked with obesity in young girls.

3. Obesity is also linked with lower grades in young girls.

4. Ultimately, social media is affecting the health and education of young girls nationwide.

Needless to say, I think that the best and most effective solution is to empower young girls to control the effect that social media and advertisements can have, rather than simply putting the blame on capitalistic companies who want to market their product. We need to invest in young girls around the world, and especially the United States, to use their intelligence and mind as tools and resources to achieve their goals and dreams, rather than using their bodies as companies have heavily advertised so. As a teenage girl to other teenage girls around the world, I want you all to know that you girls are all beautiful, no matter what age, shape, size, height or race. You are strong, you are amazing and you will not be defined by what society markets as "beautiful."

I want you to believe in your self-worth, and I believe that the best kind of beauty lies in the hard work and determination that you put into your dreams and goals, whether it be in making yourself look good (for yourself, of course!) on a Friday night or pouring your heart and soul into an essay.

We are all strong, but we are stronger together, and I hope that you can spread and share the message in this post to the people you love... the people that don't believe in their own unique beauty.

What is YOUR definition of beauty? Has it been influenced by social media? Please feel free to post your response down below in the comments section or tweet me on Twitter (@iammiribel)! I'd love to read your responses!