Correlation between body image, Instagram among students

All around the world, teens use social media. Validation and belonging are two feelings teenagers tend to strive for and apps, such as Instagram, give them those two things. In a world largely dominated by the internet, it is no wonder why Instagram gets so much attention. Instagram allows people to share anything they want, and hundreds of people see what others share only minutes after posting it. While it can be a fun app, it has been known to cause jealousy and insecurity among teenagers. Instagram is now putting restrictions on what can and cannot be shared to minors.

According to Instagram, the app will no longer allow minors to be able to see certain health products. Instagram said it did this to prevent body issues that have been connected to the app. 

According to Mind That Ego, Instagram is, “the worst social media site for mental health.”

When sophomore Kayla Nelson was asked if Instagram has affected her or her friends, she responded she has definitely seen a ton of jealousy among her friends while,“seeing other people and being like, ‘Oh I want to look like that.’”

This jealousy is said to not have come from the health advertisements Instagram has been allowing. In fact, when talking to

students, it was decided that this jealousy came from the accounts of their peers. Most students do not even notice the health advertisements.

Paige Sanders
Julia Bennet scrolls through instagram feed, coming across pictures of dieting pills.

Nelson explained, “[She does not] ever think of [her] body,” when she sees health products being advertised on Instagram. She also added she has never thought about trying a product advertised on the app.

Many teenagers have to deal with the stress of balancing sports, homework and friends. Add in the social pressures of social media apps such as Instagram, and people say the stress levels have gone up. Gender can also increase the level of stress.

“[Girls],” Nelson explained, “post more things and boys just use it to browse.” Girls and boys have different intentions when using this app.

Junior Cameron Morgan agrees with Nelson, girls and boys use Instagram differently. Morgan feels that, “girls used it more and post more about themselves than guys do.” 

Nelson and Morgan are around social media and its effects every day. However, junior Sophia Steblay is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Not only does she not have Instagram, she does not have any social media accounts. 

“Seeing other people and being like, ‘Oh I want to look like that.’”

— Kayla Nelson

“I feel like,” Steblay explained, “I do [miss out] in this day and age because a lot of people connect over it.”

She has a point. While many agree Instagram is bad for mental health, it also is said to help find friends with similar interests. There are pros and cons throughout Instagram, and heath ads do not seem to be one of the cons that minors are battling with. Instagram’s ban does not seem to phase the students. 

“I think [my friends] have a pretty healthy view about Instagram and know to take a step back from it,” Steblay added.