Selfie Queen, Kim K, Knows Its Time To Stop
Kim Kardashian announced recently announced that she is no longer going to obsess about snapping a perfect selfie. The compulsive need to take selfies is getting out of hand. She says that she no longer enjoys taking them and there is more to life than taking selfies all day. And for good reasons too!
This generation needs to learn to live in real-time and not focus so much on fake images or representations of other people’s ‘perfect’ lives, bodies and statuses. We’re not saying that taking an attractive photo of yourself is a bad thing.
However, recent studies have found a possible link between Instagram ‘Fitspo’ selfies, body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. There is no doubt that obsessive selfie-taking can be a knock on your psychological health. I know that feeling of discouragement after looking at perfectly sculpted bodies on my Instagram feed. But, there have also been good results like promoting self-love and creativity. So, we can’t shame selfies entirely.
What Is A Selfie Obsession?
‘Selfitis’ is a term that popular news media and psychologists have used previously to describe people who have a selfie obsession. These people feel compelled to snap a selfie of themselves and immediately upload or share it on their social media platforms. Moreover, researchers have discovered that people primarily want to to do this to either gain their followers’ approval, show-off their bodies or boost their ego’s. This concept did make for a really popular news story, but there is no real evidence of its legitimacy.
However, Psychiatry.Org states that other research projects in the UK and India took the concept of ‘selfitis’ and used it as a scale to measure the levels of severity. So, it may not be a legitimate mental health disorder, but its existence felt amongst online social spaces is definitely real.
Six Factors That Signal A Selfie Obsession:
1. Environmental Enhancement
Trying to make your memories look better than they were.
2. Social Competition
Competing to gain more followers, social status or approval.
3. Attention Seeking
Looking for compliments.
4. Mood Modification
Trying to make yourself feel better.
Looking for a self-esteem boost through your followers.
6. Subjective Conformity
Therefore, as this obsession increases, so will the number of teenagers who use image-based social media platforms. Sadly, with this, there may come a rise in body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.
Could ‘Selfitis’ Lead Too Serious Mental Health Disorders?
I don’t think that the concept of taking a selfie was ever meant to be harmful, fake, nor narcissistic. I believe it was originally designed to allow people to express their individuality and uniqueness. It also allows you to show your experiences first-hand. It’s actually quite a creative process to take a selfie! The problem arises from huge amounts of selfie editing software which change all of your features, backgrounds and imperfections. It’s understandable to want to post a perfect picture of yourself.
But when you are constantly changing the way you look, you are portraying unrealistic images of yourself to young girls, boys, women and men. In addition, the bigger your following seems to be, the bigger your selfie obsession seems to get. It’s like we live in a world where we are pressurised to prove ourselves every day. That cannot be healthy.
Kim Kardashian has over 113 million Instagram followers and posted an unhealthy amount of selfies. She says in an interview with This Morning Uk, that she’s decided to spend less time on her phone and stop the endless selfie posts. As a socialite, Kim has a big responsibility and perhaps her shameless selfie posts have led to a negative impact on our young girls and women. Moreover, last month she was awarded the first-ever CFDA’s Influencer Award, highlighting her reach over the public.
A Bad Relationship With Food
The Inquisitive Mind explains that researchers have connected a link between an increase in eating disorders and body dissatisfaction amongst young girls, to online fashion images and fitness influencers. The fitness movement on Instagram is huge and there are thousands of ‘fit girls’ who post daily selfies of their bodies. These studies established that the stereotypical ‘fit’ shape for a woman, was lean with toned abs, a small torso, toned arms and long, defined legs.
In addition, these ‘fitspiration’ posts usually contain advice on what you should or should not be eating and what’s healthy or not healthy. As a result, more girls are feeling the pressure to upkeep a false image. And this pressure is not only leading to a mass of edited selfies but a mass of women who have established a terrible relationship with food and their weight. Sometimes this relationship becomes very unhealthy and can potentially result in an eating disorder.
On top of this, there is still the pressure to reach a certain number of likes on a post. Although ‘fitspiration’ posts are posted with a good intention and aim to help others achieve a healthy, fit and balanced life. They can and do create an environment filled with girls who are continuously comparing themselves against these images or seeking validation based on the number of likes and followers they receive.
There is no harm in taking a nice photo of yourself and sharing it with your friends every now and then.
In fact, it can make you feel great. We’re all about self-love and body positivity! But, it is so important to know that everybody is unique and there is no one size fits all.
Be sure to love yourself, without feeling pressurised to uphold an unrealistic standard advertised by another selfie on Instagram.
It is so important that we take care of our mental health. Find out what Dwayne Johnson has to say about his experience with Depression.