A third of young girls have deleted pictures of themselves online because they did not get enough likes, a new study has found.
Girlguiding UK’s survey of 2,186 women and girls aged between 11 and 21-years-old found that 33 per cent would delete a photo from social media that did not receive enough attention.
The charity’s survey revealed that nearly half of girls regularly use apps or filters to enhance their appearance in photos online while 34 per cent would not post a picture without editing it.
It also found that two out of five (39 per cent) girls and young women said they feel upset that they cannot look the way they do online in real life.
Early findings from our #GirlsAttitudes research shows how damaging the ‘perfect’ online image can be
— Girlguiding (@Girlguiding)
August 27, 2020
This is all despite 92 per cent of survey participants saying that girls and young women should not feel pressured to change the way they look.
Girlguiding advocate, Alice, 15, said the “perfect” image that girls are encountering in their daily lives is having a “devastating impact” on girls’ self-esteem and confidence.
She said this “not only negatively impacts their wellbeing but adds to pressures they already face in their lives.
“These enhanced images create a false society where how girls look is perceived to be the most important aspect about them,” Alice said.
“It prevents them from being able to be themselves or feel confident to do the things they want to, now and potentially in the future, and with the increased time spent online during lockdown, this could get much worse.”
The research also revealed girls from a young age said they believe women are judged more on what they look like than what they can do (51 per cent of girls aged 7-10, which has increased from 35 per cent in 2016).
Girlguiding UK has now submitted evidence to the recent Women and Equalities Select Committee inquiry into body image.
Angela Salt, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Our new research highlights the concerning amount of pressure faced by girls and young women on a daily basis.
“Exacerbated by lockdown and the surrounding uncertainty of their futures, it is imperative we continue to support their wellbeing and help build resilience and confidence.
“Young people are an important part of our recovery, but they are undoubtedly one of society’s hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic.
She continued: “Using our expertise and knowledge of girls and young women’s lives, we look forward to continuing our work with decision makers, funders and other stakeholders across society to tackle the undue pressures girls and young women face.”
Reference: Evening Standard: Rebecca Speare-Cole 3 days ago: 26/08/2020