She walks into a cold, ill-lit room – naked, raw. She’s a little nervous because she hasn’t posted a picture in a while. “Butt… 36 inches… 46 likes… NEXT!” she hears as she walks towards a dark figure with cold hands and a long tape measure. Her hands start to sweat as this is the big one, “CHEST… 36C… 48% visible… 78 likes… NEXT” As she continues to walk around to each body station and get her measurements at each one, she can’t help but get excited as her likes rack up. Her heart skips a beat when she surpasses the most likes she’s ever gotten. People LIKE her! Her friends are going to have to hear about this one. Between the filter, pose, and exposed cleavage, her picture received more likes than ever – 343! Three hundred and forty-three people think she’s hot! What an accomplishment. Boys start to comment, “DANG GURL”, “HOT DANG”, “*Heart in eyes emoji**Fire emoji*.” “Wow” she thinks, “I’m finally accepted.” As she collects her 47 ego points and goes on with her day.
As crazy as this exaggeration sounds, it’s not completely far-fetched. The unfortunate state that our world is in today bases worth off of social media and the attention received from it. Scroll through the explore page on Instagram, the featured section of snapchat, or any section of twitter and you will find half naked women talking about beauty in one way or another. On Facebook or Youtube you can find endless makeup tutorial videos on how to improve yourself. And a quick google search about weight brings up pages of fad diets for the desperate woman in all of us who just wants to feel confident about her body. Social media has turned our world into a violent and dangerous one, if it wasn’t one already. It gives everyone a screen to hide behind and more confidence to say degrading and insulting things. People tear others down to pull themselves up. It’s not hard to figure out why the depression rate has increased in the last couple decades. It’s an epidemic – social media is a real problem.
A Shocking Example
While writing the anecdote above, I did a quick google search for a normal hip measurement (because I genuinely had no idea). What I found was a forum website where someone had asked girls of all ages to post their measurements. As I read post after post out of pure curiosity, I found that after each girl posted their measurements they also stated what they hated about themselves. My heart broke more as I scrolled down the page. Girls as young as fourteen were worried enough about their measurement enough to post on this page and compare themselves to others. They complained about their flat chest, a part of women that is still developing at fourteen. What kind of a world do we live in that our worth is so easily quantified by body part measurements?
So ladies, all I can say is LOVE YOURSELF. Love yourself for your curves, love yourself for your fat rolls, love yourself for your flaws – your scars, your freckles, your moles, your big nose. As entertaining as social media can be, try not to make it your everything. Try not to focus on the amount of likes you get or who gets more than you. Try not to base your value off of something so arbitrary. You are worth so much more. You are worth your brain and your kindness towards others. You are worth how you build people up instead of tearing them down. You are worth so much more than the makeup on your face, the size of your nose, or the measurement of your waist. You, my darling, were made to move mountains. It’s a little hard to do that if you’re worrying about Instagram likes. So go move that mountain.
Essay by: Emily Murphy
Field of Study: Bioengineering
Institution: University of Louisville
My name’s Emily Murphy and I’m a third-year bioengineering student at the University of Louisville (go cards!). I love dessert, discovering new music and loving on my family and friends. This past semester I have been blessed with the opportunity to work full time as a cancer researcher and it has inspired me to aim for medical school to one day be a pediatric oncologist. My goal each day is to spread positivity as far as it will reach. If this essay helps even one girl to have confidence in herself, that is enough for me.
ⒸGirlterest Scholarship Program 2016