Social Media & Its Obsession with Unrealistic Beauty Standards @auramag
Category : MEDIA WATCH


Social Media

“I wish I had not topped”… Prachi Nigam uttered the heartbreaking words after citing the subsequent trolling she faced on social media due to her physical appearance. Despite topping the Class 10 Uttar Pradesh board exams with a remarkable 98.5%, she became a target for online ridicule, a plight shared by many women subjected to criticism for traits like facial hair. This news should make us realise that we have failed again as humans. Her remarkable achievement should have been a moment of pride and celebration, not just for her but for her community and society. However, Prachi has been subjected to online ridicule and mockery instead of receiving accolades and admiration. All this only because of facial hair?
This world has echoed the mantra of “Beauty with Brains” relentlessly. But what exactly does beauty signify in this context? Is it confined to smooth, clear skin, an hourglass figure, symmetrical features, cascading locks, and a youthful glow? As we navigate the story of Prachi Nigam, the phrase takes on a new meaning.
In the digital age, social media platforms have become ubiquitous, shaping how we communicate, connect, and perceive ourselves and others. These platforms perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards and provide fertile ground for online trolling and harassment. For many people, the constant comparison to airbrushed and edited images creates feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, leading to a vicious cycle of insecurity and dissatisfaction.
In this hyper-competitive environment, online trolling and harassment thrive. Behind the cloak of anonymity, individuals feel emboldened to spew hate, spread rumours, and engage in cyberbullying with impunity. Trolls target individuals for various reasons, from their appearance and identity to their opinions and beliefs, inflicting emotional harm and psychological trauma. People believe that there are no rules or regulations behind the screens. This incident has proved how sick of a mentality this society has.
Beauty should never overshadow intellect. One’s capacity for wisdom and rationality transcends physical appearance. Body image, facial features, hair, skin tone, etc., in no way diminishes one’s cognitive abilities. Dismissing intellect in favour of beauty is unjust. Each individual possesses unique qualities, and true discernment recognises the brilliance within. Let us not be blinded by appearance but rather cherish the depth of thought and insight that enriches our world. Beauty finds its most radiant expression in the realm of intellect.
This Bombay Shaving Company ad, which tried to commercialise her ordeal, received intense criticism on social media.
This incident should not be neglected and forgotten in the corner, but rather, it should motivate others to raise their voice against the brutality. We must dismantle unrealistic beauty standards as they’re utter nonsense. Let’s mature and end the relentless hype surrounding beauty. There’s a vast world beyond superficiality, and it’s time to shift our focus to more meaningful pursuits. First and foremost, social media platforms must take responsibility for fostering a safer and more inclusive online environment. This includes implementing stricter moderation policies, combating hate speech and harassment, and providing resources and support for victims of online abuse. In addition, there is a pressing need for greater media literacy and digital citizenship education to empower individuals to navigate social media critically and responsibly. We can cultivate a more informed and empathetic online community by equipping users with the skills to recognise and challenge harmful beauty standards and online trolling.
Unfortunately, society has failed, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and unfair judgments based on physical appearance. It’s crucial to recognise that their looks do not determine one’s intellect, character, and maturity. We must strive for a more inclusive and empathetic world where individuals are respected and appreciated for their inner qualities rather than appearance. But Prachi’s journey challenges these norms, prompting us to explore beauty beyond the surface and embrace the authenticity and resilience she embodies.


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