Much has been made over the years about how mainstream media presents unrealistic beauty standards in the form of photoshopped celebrities or stick-thin fashion models. Now that influencers fill up our feeds on social media, we are being overwhelmed by a constant barrage of perfectly filtered images and picture-perfect lives.
The negative impacts of social media can be detrimental to young women’s mental health and wellbeing and has been linked to poor self-esteem and self-image particularly through the advent of image manipulation on photo sharing platforms. The constant barrage of manipulated images promotes and entrenches unrealistic expectations of how young people should look and behave. When these expectations are inevitably not met, the impact on self-esteem can be damaging, to the disturbing extent that the Royal Society of Public Health recently found 9 in 10 young females say that they are unhappy with the way they look.
But in the midst of this crisis, we are starting to see an emergence of women around the world taking to social media to break the mould and to celebrate themselves and other women in an empowering way – and without filters.
The Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards aims to celebrate and highlight positive female role models who provide inspiration to women across all areas of society and the business community, and this year we are starting the #ThisIsMe conversation.
We want to nullify stereotypes, challenge unrealistic body image expectations and fly in the face of social media idealisms. We want to advocate authenticity, remove the filters and celebrate real women.
We are calling on all our women to use social media as a powerful platform to unite, support and empower each other, to harness self-love and to be yourself, be authentic, be real.