By Britley Blessitt – Student Journalist
Have you ever heard of after-post anxiety? You probably think I smashed words together, or this is a form of anxiety you didn’t know existed.After-post anxiety is an anxious feeling after someone posts images/videos on social media.
In this society, beauty standards and social media are a toxic mix. This form of anxiety causes women to feel insecure or depressed. We are amazing just the way we are. Remember Beyonce, J. Lo, and Adele, and other famous women in the spotlight face this battle. We’re all humans.
In “4 Reasons Why Women Are Insecure,” Christian Harris writes, “Whatever is considered beautiful, sexy, pretty, desirable, attractive or hot is developed and molded from the media. Women constantly compete to be skinnier, more toned, and to look better overall.” Situations such as this happen all the time on social media. Scroll through your timeline on either Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Tell me which picture gets more likes: a photo of woman in a bikini on a motorcycle or a video about a career-driven woman discussing her successful business? If the career-driven woman gets fewer likes, then her self-esteem may be negatively impacted and she’ll want to post less despite being an uplifting role model.
All these questions form in her head, and after-post anxiety increases. She begins to ask herself, “Did I pose at the right angle? Why does my body look like that? Does my forehead look huge in this photo? Is my face clear enough? How come this outfit looked so much better on the hanger? Why can’t I be pretty like her?” All these questions and doubts from posting a single picture. However, one “wrong” image to a woman could break her spirit and self-confidence.
Since you just read the after-effect, I also have to explain a woman’s before posting process. Before most women post pictures to their social media accounts, they take over a dozen images. Pretend this situation is like The Bachelor/Bachelorette but with posts. Instead of sending someone home every week, a woman can delete disliked posts within minutes.
After posting a photo or a set of videos with a few likes, depression easily takes over. She becomes mad at herself that she’s not beautiful enough. The sadness of the media labeling her “unsatisfactory” makes her feel she’ll never reach the expectations of social media.
Comparing yourself to others will make you feel like you’re participating in a non-stop Olympics. Social media, to women, has become an aggressive competition. It all may start with “Oh, she did that or posed like that? Man, it would be fire if I did that but better.” Wesley Baines’ “7 Ways Social media is Making You Depressed” verified this argument stating, “Don’t use social media to compare your life to the lives of others—it doesn’t work. People put their best on display, not their normal lives, and so you’ll only find unneeded anxiety and stress in online comparisons.” To make matters worse, cyberbullying adds to after-post anxiety. One negative comment could destroy the credibility of over a hundred likes and positive comments.
In “6 Steps for Overcoming Insecurity”, Adam Sicinski wrote, “Think about all that you have done and successfully achieved over a lifetime. Consider the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Take into account the strengths that served you and the process you underwent to move through difficult moments that would otherwise have held you back.”
Love yourself from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. Ladies, you are not alone. Men express these same feelings of anxiety and insecurity as well. As my AP English teacher, Mr. Davis said, “No matter the same name, characteristics, or qualities, there will never be another person like you.”
Dear women, please smile. We are all beautiful.