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Social Media and Gender Expectations

Throughout the year, I will be posting pieces written by students about topics regarding race, culture, gender, and sexuality. More about this is written here.

Melissa's post particularly hit home with me. I wrote about similar struggles as an educator for Teaching Tolerance.

Guest post by Melissa T.


As time goes by and social media evolves, we slowly become victims to this new world.

Being a girl is incredibly hard because of societal pressure. Girls are told that we need to be incredibly skinny and fit for anyone to like us. Thanks to social media, movies, and magazines, we  girls who are incredibly skinny, pretty, and perfect. It makes us feel uncomfortable and makes us want to exercise or go on a major diet. 

I feel that sometimes I don't fit in because of my size and where I stand in society. My friends are very pretty and likeable, and I feel like I don't fit in. Social media has really affected how I view myself as a girl. I feel as if I need to be even skinnier so I can look like some supermodel. It makes me really uncomfortable when I am going through Instagram and I see someone incredibly pretty. We've created something called "thinspiration" where  don't eat anything at all until they look too skinny. Then girls post it and "inspire" other girls to do the same. That is how bad we have gotten because of social media.

What we look like shouldn't even matter. We're not all supermodels, we're not all actresses, we are who we are and that's that. We can't change reality and we have to make the best of what we have. We shouldn't be ruining our youth trying to get skinnier or diet we should be enjoying it.

Our friends, parents, and the people around us can help us understand that we are fine just the way we are. They are the people who find us beautiful whether we're skinny, big, any size. They will always love you, and that's good enough. 


Melissa T. is a ninth-grader at University Laboratory School in Honolulu, HI. She enjoys watching anime, especially "Black Butler" and "Future Diary." She loves eating food such as ramen and takoyaki balls. If she's not binge-watching or eating, you'll probably find her sleeping.

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