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Does media get you down?

Photos in the media; on TV, in magazines, in advertising and on the internet, can put lots of pressure on you and your friends. Every day we see images of the so called ‘perfect’ life – the best career, the best body and the most successful lifestyles. You may feel under pressure to make sure your life should be just as perfect. You compare yourself against these images – which can be staged and airbrushed, and aren’t real.

When you think you can’t live up to these high ‘perfect’ standards, you lose value in what you do have. This can affect your self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.

You’re not alone

You may think you are the only one that worries about not reaching these unrealistic high standards, but you are not. Talk to your friends, family, neighbours and you will soon discover it is a common worry that you share with many people who live, work and go to school around you (even the ones you think are the most popular!).

What you see isn’t always real

Remember what you see in a photo on TV and on Facebook is not always the reality:
  • Individuals may look glamorous, popular, confident and worry-free but behind the image they will have the same worries, insecurities, anxieties that we all experience through life.
  • They may be surrounded by friends in a photograph but feel alone on the inside.
  • They may always be having fun at a party, but not really be happy with what they are making of their lives.

Don’t destroy your self-worth by trying to be like something that’s not real in glossy magazines or on friend’s Facebook pages.

Work on what makes you happy

Work on discovering what makes you happy, well and confident. Think about:
  • helping others
  • achieving your goals
  • setting positive challenges.

Soon a celebrity lifestyle or ‘size zero’ body goal will change to great plans for the future rather than making you hate yourself for being you.

Being real on social media

Social media can make you feel you have to present yourself in a positive, glossy way and speak with a voice that’s not really yours. If everybody else’s life looks like so much fun, and so perfect, how can your life live up to theirs? You need to resist the temptation. Be the same person you are in real life online. Use the same words, don’t big up your life, be you and be real (even if it’s warts and all).

Top tips for not letting the media get you down

Remember pictures you see in magazines aren't real life.
Just because someone looks amazing, doesn’t mean they feel that way inside. What’s most important is that you focus on feeling strong and healthy in your body and mind.
Friends illustration

Whether you’re hanging out with your mates online or in person, be the same person.

You don’t need to impress anyone. Life isn’t measured by likes on Facebook or Instagram.

More information

The BBC has some great advice on being yourself on social media.

Here's a great video made by young people in Bristol and Bradford about cyber bullying and staying safe online.

And here's more helpful advice on trying not to compare yourself to other people online.

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