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self esteem

Kendall Jenner has opened up to Allure about her self-esteem issues surrounding her acne and skincare routine since she was 14-years-old.

She only revealed to the world last month that she is a long-time sufferer of the skin condition which plagues mainly young teens around the world.

Taking to Instagram back in January, she wrote to her fans; "While there are much bigger problems happening in the world, suffering from acne for me was debilitating. It’s something that I’ve dealt with since I was a young teen and has caused me to feel anxious, helpless and insecure."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

She continued; "As humans, I don’t think we share our insecurities enough because we live in a time where being “perfect” is the standard. We curate our life online and pick the pretty moments to post. I’d like to show a younger generation that not everything is perfect."

Jenner's goal is to create a conversation surrounding image and insecurity; "I didn’t think I’d see the day where I would feel confident posting a makeup free picture. My goal is to open up a dialogue around skin positivity.

Now, she has stated that the online haters as well as her acne has made her cry for days in the past. We've all had a bit of a sob when a massive spot surfaces on the exact day you have an important event on, it's so cruel.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

She revealed more about her young life to Allure;

"I've always struggled with a bit of acne since I was around 14. It killed a lot of self-esteem and I had to really work past that." She is also a person who detests when her pimples are pointed out to her, as we all are.

A break-out at the Golden Globes caused her endless stress, saying, "I was feeling good about myself, and then when people say mean things I'm like, 'I know I have a zit. I know I'm breaking out. You guys don't have to keep pointing it out. I obviously see that, but let me live.'"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Those people are legit the worst. Rude, much?

She admitted; 

"I have cried endlessly for days because of things people have said to me, and I've had to become stronger through it. I mean, don't get me wrong: I am not superhuman. I definitely feel, and the things people say online are very hurtful."

We're happy for her that she's found a great skincare routine that works for her, and is starting the conversation. Young women are under such pressure to look picture perfect 24 hours a day.

Feature image: StyleCaster

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Instagram is increasingly being told to take responsibility for the harmful effects of it's site on the mental health of young people.

Between celebrities endorsing weight-loss products which have no scientific backing, the NHS encouraging body-negative adverts to be banned, and the new sensitivity screens being put in place to prevent graphic violence and self-harm being depicted; Insta is a dangerous place.

Yet, we cannot deny that selfie culture and self-branding through social media has become just a normal part of our everyday life. Me, myself and Instagram has taken over, and young people growing up today assume it's perfectly normal to try to look perfect.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It's so prevalent in society to share the highlights of ourselves and desperately emulate others who we assume have 'better' lives, which writers such as Matt Haig have emotionally discouraged.

FaceTuning images to blur seeming 'imperfections' such as stretchmarks, wrinkles, spots, freckles, teeth, smiles, body hair, even elbow wrinkles or unwanted curves is the new normal, according to our society.

Having flaws is deemed unhealthy, and the notion of 'narcissism' or vanity is no more.

Now Rankin is trying to counteract the idea of editing ourselves in a new photo series, and it's beautiful.

The amazing photographer is attempting counteract self-editing, by showing people just how damaging the effects of social media can be.  His photo series, aptly named Selfie Harm, was launched last week on Instagram.

The renowned artist captured portrait shots of 15 teens and handed power to them and their filter apps, asking them to edit the retouched image until they felt it was 'social media ready'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @rankinarchive) on

He commented;

“Social media has made everyone into their own brand. People are creating a two-dimensional version of themselves at the perfect angle, with the most flattering light, and with any apparent flaws removed.”

“This is a new, enhanced reality, a world in which teenagers can alter themselves digitally within seconds. Mix this with the celebrities and influencers flaunting impossible shapes with impossible faces and we’ve got a recipe for disaster," he attested.

The photographer shows images of youth and natural beauty which massively contrast with the newly filtered, edited versions. It's shockingly easy for the young models to blur the lines of reality, but what is 'perfect' in a world such as this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He wrote on Instagram;

“People are mimicking their idols, making their eyes bigger, their nose smaller and their skin brighter, and all for the social media likes. “It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety and Snapchat dysmorphia."

"It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image," he concluded.

The visible differences and changes made allow the teenagers and subjects to transform their entire identity, so much so that their natural state is completely erased. There are smaller noses, smooth complexions, wider eyes and lips, everything you can imagine.

Interestingly, the photographer notes that most of the models preferred their original image, but it's still disturbing to witness the power of filters. These edits can convince people that they're regular image isn't good enough to be seen.

It's becoming harder to discern what's real and what's fake; soon the idea of reality on social media could vanish altogether.

Feature image: Rankin Instagram/Fashionista

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Hailey Bieber has anxieties, just like the rest of us.

The model and new wifey to Justin Bieber himself opened up to her fans via her Instagram account last night, vowing to get far more open about her troubles online.

"Stepping into 2019 I want to be more open, I want to be more open about the things I struggle with, and be able to be more vulnerable," she described in the post, below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hailey Rhode Bieber (@haileybieber) on

"I’m a 22 years old, and the truth is no matter how amazing life may look from the outside I struggle…"

Battles with confidence appear to be a daily dilemma for young women, with society continuously placing pressure to look perfect on their shoulders.

"I’m insecure, I’m fragile, I’m hurting, I have fears, I have doubts, I have anxiety, I get sad, I get angry," she continued. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hailey Rhode Bieber (@haileybieber) on

Hailey's honesty revolves around her self-esteem, describing how every single day is a "confidence battle";

"I have had more days than I can count where I’ve found myself scrolling through Instagram comparing myself, comparing my looks, feeling like I’m not good enough feeling like I lack so many things and really struggling to be confident in who I am because I constantly feel like I’m just not good enough." 

"I'm a human.. I'm a young woman, I'm learning who I am and, it's REALLY FREAKING HARD. It's hard finding who you are, but what's even harder is being picked apart and compared to other women while trying to do that," she opined.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hailey Rhode Bieber (@haileybieber) on

Hailey explained at the conclusion of her post that she's not "writing this for a pity party," rather for her fans to see their own beauty inside and out.

"It would be incredible if other young girls and women could find it in themselves to lift each other up, to stop making other women who are struggling JUST LIKE THEM, feel incompetent and less than," she asked for her fans to see the positive side.

"We ALL have flaws, and that will never change. What I do know is, God made us individuals for a reason, with our own beauty, our own personalities, and our own story because there's a specific plan and purpose for each and every human created and he makes no mistakes!!"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hailey Rhode Bieber (@haileybieber) on

The famous model has taken social media breaks before, as well as opening up about the difficulties of Instagram negativity and trolling;

"Whenever I take breaks from it I feel so much better so much happy as a person.. the second I come back on I get immediate anxiety, I get sad and I get worked up," she typed in one of the images.

The constant media attention and focus on her appearance unsurprisingly takes its toll.

"The negativity screams so loud."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hailey Rhode Bieber (@haileybieber) on

Baldwin has spoken about the impact of social media on her relationship to Sorry singer Justin Bieber;

 "It's hard to focus on your well being and mental health when each time you open Instagram someone is tearing apart your job, or your relationship or essentially any of the things in your life that are positive."

She finished, "I won't let people make me feel like I'm doing something wrong by enjoying my life and being happy."

You go girl, everyone deserves to feel confident and positive in their own skin, no matter how big a celebrity they are.

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Our confidence can vary from time to time – one day we feel on top of the work and superconfident that we can achieve anything. 

Other times, situations can get a little overwhelming, and lead us to feel that we're not really very good any anything at all. 

A study, published in the Psychological Bulletin, looked at how self-esteem levels change in people over the course of their lives – and at what ages people reported feeling the best about themselves.

Using information from a whopping 160,000 individuals, the study found that people feel most confident and self assured at age 70. 

So if you're stressing about that quarter-life crisis, just remember it only gets better from here. 

The research found that increasing self-confidence only reaches a plateau during adolescence, then makes a strong leap in early adulthood, and continues to increase until age 70. 

From there it very gently decreases, but only very slightly, until age 90. 

The study found that this data was reflective across all categories of people of different genders, ethnicities and nationalities.

The self-esteem pattern of life remained much the same.

So, if you're feeling a bit down on yourself at the moment, the best is yet to come. 

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I approach shopping with a mixture of hope and trepidation. It's nearly like putting my self esteem on a bungee rope and hoping to hell that I tied the chord properly. 

You see, dear reader, I'm a size 12-or at least I should be. In some shops I'm a 10, in others I'm a 20. How good I feel about myself and the world in general that day directly correlates to the numbers on the clothes. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

Obviously, I would love nothing more to wake up in the morning and have Gigi Hadid's abs, but I like pizza too much for that to happen anytime soon. 

I'm no super model, but the 'average' size of Irish women is a UK 14, so as a 12(ish) I should have no problem finding decent clothes in an average high street store, right? 

WRONG. 

A couple of months ago I went into a much-loved and well known high street store to pick up a chiffon shirt for work. Burgundy, with those 70's sleeves the seem to be everywhere, I figured I was on to a winner. Paid for it without trying it on, a rookie mistake in hindsight. 

I brought it home, tried it on. Much to my disgust, it wouldn't even fight over my chest. 

I was completely distraught, I must have piled on the pounds without realising it, started vowing to myself that I would live on a diet of celery and treadmills. 

Tearing it off in a self-directed rage, I turned to an old reliable shirt that's been wardrobe staple for many moons. Then, the label caught my eye, it was the same size, from the same shop. Both the shirts were a similar cut and material, bought within about two years of each other. One fit perfectly and the other restricted any hope of breathing. 

In jeans, one high street store a pair of high waisted skinny's 12 fit like a dream, another wouldn't go past my knees. 

You'd think that  there should be some kind of general consensus between clothing manufacturers but, in actual fact, there isn't. Which really doesn't make sense. Even the history behind where these sizes come from doesn't make that much sense. 

So buckle in, ladies and gentlemen, for the quickest roller-coaster whistle stop tour of sizing conundrums in the world. 

According to research done by Slate, the idea of standardised sizing first appeared in 1940's America. With Europe still in bits from World War Two, New York became home to the fashion industry. Couture and tailor made clothing begin to decline in comparison to ready-to-go, mass produced clothes. 

Before this ready-made clothes were only for men (typical), they used chest measurements to suss out what his other measurements would be. So the geniuses decided to do the same for women, basing sizes on women's busts. 

Of course, these measurements aren't exactly accurate. We all know ta ta's have a life and mind of their own. 

So in the 1950's the government went back to the drawing board, asking statisticians to take measurements of over 15,000 women. They hoped to create a broad, simple, standardised system  using all that data. But the data wouldn't co-operate, because everybody is different (obvs) AND they only measured white women. 

So they came up with 27 different sizes, including height differences, but that caused major headaches for manufacturers. So eventually, they came up with a more simplistic size range, from 8 to 32, based on bust measurements and a "classic" hourglass shape, which only 8% of women have.  By the 1970's the US government pretty much gave up trying to control dress sizes, so they let manufacturers decide.  

In 1982, the 'Specification for Size Designation of Women's Wear' was released in the UK. Similarly to the US, while stores were happy with these guidelines at first, they let them slip by the wayside giving manufacturers a lot more wiggle room (unlike those aforementioned jeans). 

Today, the changing of measurements can go either way. On one hand, you have budget stores using it as an excuse to slash sizes and save money by using less material per item. On the flip side, vanity sizing means that over the years some shops have crept their sizes up the scale to make customers feel better about themselves. 

Anyway, my point is that you don't need a label to define your size. Society constantly, through social media, magazines, films and TV, tells women that to be a above a certain size means to be lesser. Less attractive, less intelligent, less ambitious. Which of course, simply isn't true. So why do we obsess over completely archaic sizes that are totally inaccurate anyway? 

So please, ladies, don't go beating yourself by beating yourself into those jeans. You are and always will be so much more than a number on a label. And who really cares what that label says? As long as you're happy, healthy and can look in the mirror and say 'yeah I'm hella fine' that's all that matters. 

via GIPHY

And FYI, I went back and got at top in a 16- and it looks great. 

 

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So, at this stage we're all well aware of the negative impact social media can have on our mental health.

Whether we're drooling over someone else's lunch, or pining after that leather jacket we'll never be able to afford, a quick scroll through our social feeds can sometimes leave us feeling, well, just a bit fed up really.

However, new research has shown that a five-minute Facebook session could actually boost your self-esteem.

For the study, led by Dr Zaheer Hussein, Lecturer in Psychology at Derby University, 163 participants, aged between 18 – 24, were asked to complete a survey before and after a short scroll through Facebook.

Results showed that a person's stress level played a huge part in how they conducted the social media session, with higher stress levels leading to more intense use.

What's more, researchers found a 'significant' increase in self-esteem when participants used the social network for five-minutes, once a day.

Dr Hussain said: “A five-minute Facebook session can immediately result in increased levels of self-esteem. This may be because users who browsed their close friends, chatted with them, or viewed positive content on social networking sites would display a momentary increase in self-esteem.”

Basically, five-minutes is the optimum time for a feel-good scroll, because after that, you're likely to get sucked thorugh a spiralling wormhole only to reappear two hours hours later, halfway through a photo album your ex uploaded in 2014 – which, let's face it, isn't a good look for anyone.

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In the society we live in, we put a lot down to social media and the connections we make from it.

And as much as we think that getting ALL the 'likes' on social media is a good thing, it doesn't actually make people feel any better about themselves.

A recent study carried out at the University of South Wales found that 'likes' don't really reflect how we feel at all.

340 participants took part in the study which involved a questionnaire being sent out via Facebook and Twitter.

Silver Iphone 5s on Brown Wooden Table

In the questionnaire, they were asked to record how much they agreed or disagreed with various statements.

So, for example, they were asked to agree or disagree with, 'the attention I get from social media makes me feel good' or 'I consider someone popular based on the amount of likes they get'.

The study also found that people who ask for 'likes' or buy them are seen to have low self-esteem and trust issues.

The same is true for those who delete a picture if it doesn't receive many 'likes' (but come on, we're all a little bit guilty of that).

Person Holding Iphone

The overall result found that 'likes' on social media doesn't actually make a person feel better about themselves or give them any added confidence.

Dr Graff , who conducted the study, said: "The proliferation of social media use has led to general concerns about the effects on our mental health. 

"Although this is just a relatively small scale study the results indicate that the ways we interact with social media can affect how we feel and not always positively."

We think hanging out with mates over a bottle of vino or having some family time is so much better than 'likes' on Facebook. Do you agree?

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Bum too big, boobs too small, stomach too flabby? We all have our own complaints when it comes to our looks, but it seems Ireland’s self-esteem issue goes far deeper than that.

A shocking four in ten (45%) of us Irish women are unhappy with our appearance, with the need to lose weight and tone up topping the list of issues getting us down.

That’s according to SHEmazing!’s new Cosmetic Beauty research, which saw 994 females give their opinions on beauty, ageing and the intense pressure on women in this country to look good.

Unsurprisingly, many of those surveyed said they felt worst about their appearance when scrolling through social media or looking at images of celebrities – something anyone who uses Instagram or Snapchat on a regular basis can no doubt relate to.

A staggering 95% of women say they feel social media adds to the pressure on us females to look a certain way, while 70% say the celebrity culture is to blame.

Speaking about the “worrying” figures, SHEmazing!’s Susan Vickers suggests it’s time we stopped taking what we see online at face value.

"Young women’s newsfeeds are flooded with images of glamorous celebrities and their luxurious lifestyles… but these images are often captured by professionals using clever lighting techniques and even Photoshopping."

Of course, it’s not just our online habits denting our self-esteem – sometimes the pressure comes from much closer to home. Indeed, one in four women (26%) say they work in an industry where the pressure is on to look their best at all times.

With strain on us from so many outside factors, it’s no surprise that three in four women (75%) say they would consider some form of cosmetic procedure in the future.

Highest on the list of non-surgical procedures us Irish ladies would be open to are laser hair removal, anti-wrinkle injections like Botox and chemical skin peels.

And as for going under the knife, almost a third of women (31%) would consider getting a breast lift, and 22% would get a tummy tuck to tighten up the ab area.

If you are considering getting a procedure, Susan advises making safety your primary concern. "Worryingly, our research revealed that 34% of young women would travel abroad to source procedures at cheaper rates," she says.

"We strongly advise any women thinking of travelling abroad to research the cosmetic industry in that country, the surgeon and the clinic to ensure they are reputable.

"Remember, this is your body and you only get one."

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At the height of her Instagram fame, Australian teen Essena O'Neill was making upwards of €1,500 a post, with over 600,000 followers hanging on her every word.

But after three years of faking it, the 18-year-old has finally had enough.

On October 27 she deleted 2,000 photos from her feed, leaving only a handful – with the captions re-edited to show the grim truth behind them all.

One photo of her lying by a pool studying while wearing a bikini was once captioned, "Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun."

Now it reads, "See how relatable my captions were – stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs.

"I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention."

As well as skipping meals, exercising "excessively" and "barely eating" to stay slim, Essena says she was hugely insecure and felt her body was her only asset.

Another photo of her sitting on the beach reads, "NOT REAL LIFE – took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good. Would have hardly eaten that day. Would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this. Yep so totally #goals."

The teen says she often took hundreds of photos, editing her selfies in various different apps until they looked exactly how she wanted them to.

Referring to a snap which shows her pulling her t-shirt up to reveal her toned stomach, Essena admits the photo was "the only thing that made me feel good that day."

As well as revealing the insecurities behind the seemingly carefree images, Essena has pointed out various photos she only posted to earn money.

"NOT REAL LIFE – paid $$$ to promote both the jeans and top," she wrote next to a "candid" shot of herself looking out to sea wearing jeans and a black top.

"Any girl with a lot of followers promoting a bikini brand is paid, I would say 99% of the time," she wrote next to another. 

"If they tag a company 99% of the time it's paid."

To further explain her decision to come clean, Essena has set up a website, Lets Be Game Changers, where she has been posting daily vlogs.

"Anyone who spends hours and hours on a screen wishing they could have a 'perfect' life, this is for you," she writes. 

"There is nothing cool about spending all your time taking edited pictures of yourself to prove to the world 'you are enough.'"

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In today's world, we're all guilty of shameful social media habits

Have you taken a million and one seflies just to find the right one to post on Instagram? Yep, thought so. 

Or, what about posting a status on Facebook, only to take it down 20 minutes later because it didn't get any 'likes'?

We all have social media habits we need to stop, and that's why Dove started this brilliant campaign. 

Social media plays a huge role in shaping the definition of beauty in today's society. And there is an epidemic of both young girls and women chasing social media 'likes' just to feel attractive. 

But, Dove believes that everyone has the opportunity to make a difference in a woman's self-esteem so that's why the Dove Self-Esteem Project is launching the #NoLikesNeeded campaign at the Women in the World Summit in London today and tomorrow. 

The purpose is to encourage girls that the only 'like' they need is their own. That's the only one that really counts. 

The beauty brand is in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and will host 30 ambitious young women from all around the globe – including Cork native Dara Daly – for three days of self-esteem building workshops and leadership development activities. 

The Dove Self-Esteem Project will also host a thought-provoking panel which will discuss the issue of body confidence in our image-obsessed world. 

Women in the World panelist, and 21-year-old singer, Nina Nesbitt, was discovered through her YouTube channel and she believes in the power of social communities for positive change. 

Nina has also spoken out about how girls of all ages have developed a ridiculous need for validation through social media. 

“I’m noticing even more that we’re living our lives online,” says Nina. 

“It’s natural for my generation to think about everything we’re doing as that ideal Instagram post, or that hilarious Tweet we have to share with our friends, as opposed to just living in the moment and avoiding the need to capture everything we’re doing.” 

And we think she's so right, as many of our bad social media habits need to change. 

Luct Attley, Dove's UK brand director also commented on the movement:

“We have long known that girls with healthy body confidence have a greater chance of reaching their full potential."

"Today’s research enables us to better understand the relationship between social media and girls’ self-esteem, and the importance of talking to girls about body confidence before they turn 18."

"Everyone can help a girl feel good about herself which is why we are asking parents, teachers, youth leaders and family friends to share their support for the #NoLikesNeeded campaign.”

Dove is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. 

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We all have our own body hang-ups, be it our small boobs, our big boobs, our Beyoncé booty or our flat bum. No matter how body confident you are, every girl on the planet has those "ugh I'm a MESS" moments from time to time.

Imgur user SomewhereUnderWater wanted to show followers a real, no-filter look at her body, and so posted a brilliant collage of four images showing how her stomach appears in different positions:

"We aren't barbies. We are made of flesh and blood. These are all the same body — my body. I have worked hard for this body and I am proud of this body," she wrote on the image-sharing site.

"In a world were [sic] we are surrounded by the images of our friends highlight reel sometimes it's good to see a little reality so we can keep our expectations real. No matter where you are on your body's journey, be proud and love yourself. Make goals because you love your body not because you hate it."

The response to the images have been phenomenal – they have been viewed over a million times and have been praised by users all over the world.

"Thank you! As someone who has lost a ton of weight, it's hard to be happy with the new me when I see my belly not super flat all the time," commented one Imgur user. "I'm slim and my belly's flat, but not while sitting. And sometimes it looks bloated. It's perfectly natural. We have digestive systems," wrote another.

Speaking about the overwhelming reception to the images, SomewhereUnderWater says she was "so very grateful," and added: "The important thing is that we love our bodies — and when I say that I mean that we care for our bodies. We won't always like everything that they do, or the path they have gone down or everything that happens to them but we do have to love them."

Words to live by.

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