A women holding a face that isn’t her true self (Photography by: Sophia Montanez) (Sophia Montanez)
A women holding a face that isn’t her true self (Photography by: Sophia Montanez)

Sophia Montanez

The Impact of Influencers

May 25, 2023

With the rise of social media and its increasing number of social media personalities, these people have become a powerful force in society. From beauty to fashion to lifestyle, influencers have the ability to shape opinions and inspire millions of people. However, their influence is not without consequences. Many online personalities send messages that can cause viewers to feel insecurities and a desire to be someone else. 

Tara Ruess, a senior at Huntington Beach High School (HBHS), says, “I’ll be on “TikTok” and find myself wishing to be the people I follow. They just seem so successful and perfect.”

The Pew Research Center found that more than half of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 follow influencers on social media. These influencers have the ability to affect the beliefs, goals, and behaviors of their followers. According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, a person’s body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and low self-esteem may rise if they follow individuals who post about dieting and exercise. This is because a lot of social media personalities advocate for unattainable or unhealthy lifestyles and unrealistic beauty standards.

A chaotic representation of following trends and feeling uncomfortable to be yourself (Photography by: Sophia Montanez)

Lilyann Robertson, a senior at HBHS, said, “I have definitely been influenced to buy products or to follow trends that I’ve seen on social media, for example, Hailey Bieber when that nail trend started. I immediately followed, and that wasn’t the first time it happened either.”

Avaree Pope a sophomore at HBHS, said, “I personally don’t have social media because of the power influencers have over viewers.” 

Body image and confidence are only two aspects of a leader’s reach. Influencers can also fuel a wish to adopt a different identity. Many leaders emphasize the concept of perfection and convey the idea that imitating them is the only way to achieve success and happiness in life. A wish to be someone else, as well as feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, may result from this.

It is important for influencers to be aware of the power of their words and images. They should strive to promote body positivity, self-love, and healthy lifestyle choices. They should also be more self-aware of the false messages that they spread. Additionally, it is important for parents and other adults to be aware of the effects of influencers and to talk to young people about their values and the importance of self-acceptance.

Influencers have the power to shape the lives of millions of people. It is essential to be aware of the messages they are sending and the impact they can have on how we view ourselves and our lives.

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