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Self-empowerment corrupted by need for validation through likes

Mar 9, 2015

Photos licensed through Creative Commons.

Social media is a place to share experiences, gossip, rant, and, recently, to promote some goodness in the world.

As a female, I see where the intentions for #20beautifulwomen came from. All women should feel beautiful and empowered and should have the self-esteem to show their faces without the fear of being judged.

Unfortunately, social media is flawed in that it tends to turn these things into a popularity contest.

After the moment girls posted their #20beautifulwomen on Instagram, they likely visited Instagram much more often than normal – why? Because we cannot help but care about how many likes we get. So girls will put on makeup, pose, or find an already edited photo and put on more filters to try to fulfill society’s standard of beautiful.

That completely defeats the purpose of the challenge.

I must admit, I posted a #20beautifulwomen on Instagram too. I am not perfect. I would like to hope my intentions were pure, but it did no great good to my self esteem to post that photo.

So why are we putting a number on the amount of beautiful women in the world? Why does one person get to decide who is beautiful, when anyone can be beautiful?

As much as I support the empowerment of women, I cannot support their subjectification to judgement on social media. It’s not so easy to fix others’ standards of beautiful, but we can change our own. I hope everyone reading this see themselves as beautiful.

To see examples of this trend, check out the #20BeautifulWomen on Twitter.

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