Kaliyah Delk

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Kaliyah Delk

UNIV 200

What is Narcissism? By definition narcissism personality disorder means to be gaudy, have an absence of sympathy for other individuals, and a requirement for profound respect. Individuals with this condition are much of the time depicted as pompous, conceited, manipulative, and requesting. “Narcissism is an unhealthy focus on self that affects others in unhealthy ways” (Evans). They may likewise focus on pretentious dreams (e.g. their own particular achievement, magnificence or brightness) and might be persuaded that they merit exceptional treatment. There are two types of narcissism: vulnerable narcissism and grandiose narcissism. Grandiose narcissism alludes to characteristics of exhibitionism, insensitivity, extraversion, manipulativeness, predominance, animosity, impassion and looking for of recognition. Vulnerable narcissism refers to qualities of deficiency, void and disgrace, receptive outrage, defenselessness, hyper cautiousness to affront, timidity and interpersonal avoidance (Adams).
Celebrity influencers play a major role in grandiose narcissism. In the past most celebrities kept their private lifestyles private and tried to stay away from letting the media see the “real” them but with the rise of visual media, Celebrities have used these outlets as platforms to influence those who look up to them. While most resort to an outstretched arm and flattering angles to capture the best pictures, many celebrities are instead enlisting ‘Instassistants’ – friends and close ones whose responsibility it is to take the most Instagram-worthy shots. Rihanna, Miranda Kerr and Georgia May Jagger are just some A-listers who are guilty of allocating selfie duty to someone else”. (Peppers).  Many celebrities create an unrealistic reality for younger teens with the glitz and glamour of their famous lifestyles. It has turned out to be standard for celebrities to be cliché and fill Instagram with the moments that constitute their day, the inferred rule being that, once you are sufficiently essential, nothing is ordinary (Williams).  

“The dramatic rise in cosmetic surgery is part of the same effect; the celebrity fixates on his or her appearance to meet the demands of fame. Then the vanity, being the only truly replicable trait, becomes the thing to emulate. Ordinary people start having treatments that only intense scrutiny would warrant – 2015 saw a 13% rise in procedures in the UK, with the rise in cosmetic dentistry particularly marked, because people don’t like their teeth in selfies”(Williams). Teens view celebrities on the internet as people who they aspire to be like, but many celebrities online have narcissistic tendencies; they get millions of likes, post photo shopped photos, and wear the best looking clothes. This creates an alternative world for teens, where they feel as if they have to acquire that type of “insta fame” or get as many likes on a photo as possible.  

As celebrity online stages advance, it is getting to be clearer that they give young people a gathering to emulate their disturbing behaviors found in the media. The youth retains much of today's  media and follow celebrities lives every day making them progress toward becoming imitators of what they see, just to fit in to a specific kind of people and draw attention from their companions (Pinsky). Our unwavering mission for information about the lives, loves and disappointments of celebrities has been filled by the huge development of the entertainment industry, and in addition by the media. Bearing witness to our distraction is the general population's commitment to TV projects, for example, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, and Extra, which draw in more than 100 million American watchers every week (Tapper & Morris, 2005). Celebrities appeals to younger teens vulnerabilities. This permits them to extend any persona they can envision with the expectation that somebody will see them, make them feel acknowledged or make them feel as mainstream in their genuine lives as they are in their web lives. Teenagers are the sponges of celebrity culture and they are constantly trying to set their values and figure themselves out which makes them such a target for narcissism and with celebrity lives being put at center stage, teens constantly get a bad interpretation of how they should mirror their lives.

Many celebrity influencers agree that without Instagram, they wouldn’t be where they are today in terms of fame. Kim Kardashians says that there is a certain level of privacy you have to be willing to lose and some people are not willing to do that (Whitaker). Gary Vaynerchuk, another huge social media influencers states that in order to become an influencers there is a certain “it” factor you must obtain. He states that, “it starts with are you good enough, are you pretty enough, a model, are you funny enough, comedy” (Whitaker). Even, Instagram influencers have been affected by the rise of Instagram and its rapid growing marketing. One Instagram model, Essena O’Neil decided to delete her Instagram with over 800 thousand followers because she felt like it was “suffocating” her (Dewey). Influencers play a role in body image of teens by advertising brands that allow them to feel vulnerable. They want to fit in and be perceived as the best. Influencers create this unrealistic reality that you are supposed to be perceived as perfect and have the most flawless pictures on Instagram.

Teens begin to mimic celebrities’ narcissistic ways, such as with the way they pose in selfies, the way they dress and even down to how their body looks. For example, back in 2015, teenage girls were participating in the Kylie Jenner “Full Lip Challenge”, to perpetrate the celebrity’s full lips. Girls dangerously sucked on a shot glass or small plastic cups, filling their lips with blood which caused them to swell, causing their lips to appear to be “plump” (Engel). Teenagers see this as a way to self-advance, and be accepted in the social media world. Dr.  Peggy Drexler, author, states that in pursuit of center stage, narcissism sells but the self-obsession we accept and encourage for those who find their way to the spotlight is a bit tougher to handle when it finds its way into our lives. By a large, social media sites energize self-advancement, as users produce the greater part of the substance. W. Keith Campbell clarifies that individuals regularly use social media "to look critical, look exceptional and to pick up consideration and status and self-regard."  The issue with this idea about social media is that about everybody exhibits an improbable representation of themselves. Similarly to individuals who select the most alluring photographs of themselves to use as to post on their profiles, they have a tendency to populate their news feeds with the most appealing bits of news about themselves.

In actuality, this attempt to self-advance one leads to problems of lower self-esteem in teenagers because they realize that no matter how hard they try, they will never be as popular as their idols. This phenomena has created a sense of loneliness in teenagers and younger adults because they all want to have the best looking photos and the highest number of followers, which leads to many feeling like an outcast in the social media world. With big name celebrities making unthinkable standards of beauty, an increasing number of young adults are feeling 'less sure, more furious, and more disappointed with their looks (National Institute on Media and the Family). Teenagers have learned to see the world through “selfies” and filters which has led to a very unhealthy perception of them and this is all because of the celebrity influences and everyday pictures they scrolled through every day. “Self-comparison is an inescapable component of social media – it’s impossible not to compare your life to the lives of the people you religiously follow. It leads to negative self-talk, which leads to negative self-image – something that’s closely linked to the severity of eating disorders” (Marchant).

We are fixated on this thought of putting our best selves forward via social media, which has allowed us to become more narcissistic than we have ever been before.  Each stance is computed; each filter we had to our picture is meticulously chosen to draw out the most satisfying reality of one's self (Merchant). Many Instagram users show signs of narcissism and do not even realize it. When you are constantly updating your profile to gain admiration or attention, you are showing signs of narcissism. If you have over a 1000 plus followers and you do not know half of them and you overly post pictures of yourself for the satisfaction of receiving likes, there is a strong possibility you have gained narcissistic tendencies through social media. Reactions to selfies are prompt, and whether remarks are certain, adverse, personal, or anonymous; the attention makes you only want more.

Getting noticed over social media releases dopamine, the chemical related with the reaction of reward and motivation throughout the brain. 93 million selfies are taken every day, meeting roughly 2,583,333 moves of film committed to selfies and 95% of teens have taken a selfie once in their lives (Malcore). Selfies are not generally a precise representation of a person. An expected 36% of selfies are digitally changed or improved. Altering and controlling photographs is more convenient than any other time. Instagram has 22 filters and an assortment of photo altering tools; Twitter has 8 filters and Facebook has 6 (Malcore). While it is practically difficult to totally expel any negative big name celeb impact from your life, you can decrease the impacts of superstars and the media by searching out positive good examples, all things considered, who you can seek to resemble. Attempt to discover individuals who display qualities you might want to have, for example, genuineness, good faith and persistence. With some restraint, selfies and Instagram can be a positive device used for self-expression. Social media outlets can provide communication and permit teenagers to share interests and make sense of their identity. We just have to learn that there are positives and negatives to being connected to social networks and use them wisely. Research by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University found that both the quantity and subject matter of photos that are shared with friends on Facebook can impact the level of support and intimacy within their relationships. Selfies only show what you want them to show. Bright smiles, curvy or slim feature, no blemishes, you make yourself, and your life seems more alluring than it is. For some, this may create low self-esteem in teenagers because it might be difficult to acknowledge that what you see is not reality. Seeing selfies online can make you feel worse about yourself and cause you to feel as if you are not good enough. As with all online and social media activities, posting selfies can have a negative effect on a teenager’s online reputation.



Millennials are hyper-associated, yet normally show little familiarity with or sympathy toward others aside from an audience. A review by San Diego State University educator Dr. Twenge demonstrates that narcissism levels have risen consistently amid the previous couple of decades, making the Millennial generation , otherwise called "Generation Me,"  which are stated to be more egotistical and self-consumed than any other generation before them(Waldman). With Instagram encouraging teens to constantly promote themselves through photos; it has become inevitably hard not to become narcissistic in one way or another. This is when vulnerable narcissism takes place within teens. Vulnerable narcissism places young people at risk of being manipulated or becoming self-absorbed. Often times, narcissistic tendencies such of being selfish, arrogant, lacking empathy and inability to understand others around you can lead to anxiety and depression in the long run. Teens now feel a deliberate weight to share and intensify or decorate their enormous life moments, and not the ordinary ones. On the off chance that we do post the regular ones, we join picture making, or the way toward posting misleadingly energizing and delightfully arranged photos so as to appear to be more flawless via social media. On Facebook or Instagram, you don't have the advantage of watching individuals in their common habitat. What you see rather is the façade or introduction that individuals need to depict. We hazard contrasting our apparently cliché lives and ones that appear to be exciting and steadily changing, which can make us feel second rate. Some may argue that narcissism and social media leads to higher levels in self-esteem but too much self-esteem may eventually lead to one feeling isolated, unaccepted and more of an outcast, which is vulnerable narcissism.
Vulnerable narcissism then leads to an increase in low self-esteem and lack of confidence in teens. Adolescents who tend to spend most of their time on the internet tend to develop more unrealistic expectations of how they want their bodies to look. Studies have shown that 20 percent of 9 year old girls and 40 percent of 14 year olds admit to wanting to lose weight or appear slimmer (Crain). There has always been a huge distinction in size. Certain body types are praised more than others or “the skinnier the prettier” but with Instagram and other social media outlets so provident in today’s world it is somewhat impossible to not be affected in some way. Instagram has allowed people to put themselves on visual display and for younger people getting likes and comments on photos brings a sense of self-accomplishment and acceptance. With 60 million pictures transferred to Instagram consistently, it appears we are all attempting to discover a form of ourselves that gets the best criticism or the most likes (Fleming).  Many people in the media go to great lengths to create the best online perception of them. There is this idea of having the “perfect Instagram” where you are blemish free, have perfect teeth, and are a few pounds lighter, still allowing this idea of being self-advances beyond what is actually reality.

“Self-esteem differs from narcissism in that it represents an attitude built on accomplishments we've mastered, values we've adhered to, and care we've shown toward others. Narcissism, conversely, is often based on a fear of failure or weakness, a focus on one's self, an unhealthy drive to be seen as the best, and a deep-seated insecurity and underlying feeling of inadequacy”(Firestone). One method for satisfying self-esteem needs is the utilization of web-based social networking to communicate relationally which may give a chance to individuals with low self-regard to take part out in the movement of posting selfies with a lessened danger of embarrassment and diminished social nervousness.  (Varnali, 2015). Narcissism energizes envy and antagonistic competitions, where self-regard bolsters sympathy and collaboration. Narcissism favors strength, where self-regard recognizes uniformity. Narcissism includes pomposity, where self-regard reflects lowliness. Narcissism is insulted by feedback, where self-regard is upgraded by input. Narcissism makes it important to pull down others keeping in mind the end goal to remain above them. Self-regard prompts seeing each individual as a man of significant worth in a universe of importance (Firestone). Problems with body image have risen because filtered Instagram feeds have become a reality for younger adults (Crain).



“We're accustomed to agonizing over the illogical standards that photo shopped magazine models provide for younger teens, yet what occurs when the child nearby is photo shopped, as well? Significantly all the more confounding, shouldn't something be said about when your own profile doesn't generally speak to the individual that you have a feeling that you are within”(Ehmke). The media use is bound up with how we see and depict ourselves, at the end of the day; it influences our feeling of character. While dejection is not just passionate and profound, encounter working with youth demonstrates that despondency regularly accompanies a brought down feeling of self-regard and self-adequacy. At the point when youth construct their character in light of what others see, they build up their very own contorted adaptation worth, esteem, and ability to be cherished.  

Although young teens who follow in the footsteps of celebrities tend to have an increase in narcissistic tendencies, celebrities and their narcissistic teens affect teens mental and emotional being as well. Teens who attempt to copy these celebrities may succumb to a few different issues, including drug abuse, drug addiction, eating disorders, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. “One study found that people who were shown slides of thin models had lower self-evaluations than people who had seen average and oversized models, and girls reported in a Body Image Survey that "very thin" models made them feel insecure about themselves. In a sample of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, 68% felt worse about their own appearance after looking through women's magazines. Many health professionals are also concerned by the prevalence of distorted body image among women, which may be fostered by their constant self-comparison to extremely thin figures promoted in the media. Seventy-five percent (75%) of "normal" weight women think they are overweight 20 and 90% of women overestimate their body size” (Eating Disorders). Ladies constantly contrast their bodies with those they see around them, and scientists have found that introduction to admired self-perceptions brings down ladies' fulfillment with their own engaging in quality.

The unhealthy focus on self has caused this idea of vulnerable narcissism because teens view themselves as people who are never good enough and do not fit into societal norms. Given teenagers drive to associate with companions and those with whom they might want to be associates, they frequently swing to online networking, and even to conventional media, (for example, TV, films, and magazines) for approval, not only for self-perception, but rather for all intents and purposes all that they think, do, and are (Rich). Some portion of the drive to build up oneself with companions is a solid need to fit in, such a variety of tweens and high schoolers feel that they have to watch that they look alright, say the correct things, and don't appear to be senseless or distinctive (Rich). Teens have to figure out how to carry on the planet from the good examples they picked, regardless of whether they are motion picture stars or others whom they know or might want to know in the online networking domain.


The interest young adults have with celebrities, their bodies, garments and appearance has all expanded the weight that teens normally feel when they look to build up their own characteristics of themselves and when their bodies are developing and evolving (Briggs). Youngsters contrast themselves with the pictures that besiege them and feel it is their blame that their bodies are not the same creating a very unsatisfying image of oneself. Instagram is condemned as an social network that harms confidence. It is making an era of selfie-fixated young teens, whose exclusive point is to get no less than 100 likes on their transferred photographs. At the point when their photographs aren't esteemed by their associates, young adults create confidence issues, which harm them in different aspects of their life (Schreiber). The emphasis on the likes is a major portion of the reason that Instagram gets such negative criticism, with regards to young ladies and their confidence issues. Instagram opens up the issue, since it whittles down the components of online networking that are well on the way to develop sentiments of loneliness and self-hatred on photographs and likes (Schreiber). When adolescents post a photograph, they are welcoming input from others. The more criticism (preferences and positive remarks), the more they tend to believed that they are famous among their associates. Teens put photos out there to be judged and if nobody acknowledges the photos, teens feel a sense of unwanted and disregard to self.

It is imperative that teenagers feel safe and accepted and have control over what they share on Instagram. It is also important for teenagers to be smart on social media. At the point when individuals are able to be transparent, they can discover inconceivable groups of support, instead of negative feedback and lack of confidence. “Initiate conversations with your kids about the users they follow on Instagram, and why they like them. Discuss the photos your kids share, and why they decided to share them. Talk to your children about the number game. Most kids know that there are ways to buy followers and likes, or to ‘trade’ them. Encourage them to think about whether that is valuable feedback. If you follow them on Instagram, tell them personally that you liked their photo, and what you liked about it. Discuss why some photos get more likes, and others less, and whether it’s important to them to collect likes. Encourage real life communication, which brings them honest and authentic feedback, instead of automatic likes (Schreiber)”. If people who use social media as a whole altogether quit attempting to push magnificence of beauty and begin advancing our excellent differing qualities that encompasses us, we may change the current shallow and insignificant computerized reality. In fact, there are many individuals already starting to share genuine pictures of various body shapes and sizes, "blemishes" and differing qualities. Instagram is where people express themselves through pictures that tell a story, we just have to learn to use it in the most positive way possible.


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Sheldon, Pavica, and Katherine Bryant. "Instagram: Motives for Its Use and Relationship to Narcissism and Contextual Age." Computers in Human Behavior 58 (2016): 89- 97.ScienceDirect.

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