New research shows that young women (18-25-year-olds) are actively looking at their Instagram feeds 10+ times per day, and a quarter (24%) of the same demographic also experiencing mental health needs, Leeds-based charity Getaway Girls has looked at just how much of an impact social media has on the self-esteem of young women across the UK.

Figures show that young women aged 18-25 are 102% more likely than the rest of the UK to consider plastic surgery, with high Instagram use revealed to dramatically increase their interest in cosmetic procedures.

More than six in ten young women (62%) admit they are ‘usually trying to lose weight’, and over a quarter (27%) agree with the statement ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’.

To raise awareness of the issue, Getaway Girls has launched its campaign #FilteredLives, in which influencers and individuals are urged to share ‘unfiltered’ images and spread the message that we are all perfect just as we are.

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Tshayi Hercules, a project worker at Getaway Girls commented:

“Young women are under a huge amount of pressure to look a certain way, with images on social media displaying the ‘perfect’ body, which more often than not use filters, photoshopping or on occasions the ‘influencer’ has even had surgery. Young women are striving to reach these unachievable body ideals, and this is clearly having a detrimental effect on their mental health.”

Getaway Girls supports young women aged 11-25, across a range of issues such as young mums, domestic violence, sexual exploitation and mental health issues. The charity delivers workshops around social media and self-esteem and encourages the girls to discuss online images they impact them.

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Speaking on the use of Instagram filters during a Getaway Girls session, one young woman said:

“I use filters because I’m not good enough in real life”.

Celebrities such as Jameela Jamil and Iskra Lawrence often discuss the detrimental impact social media can have on mental health, with self-esteem and body image at the centre of the discussion.

Tshayi added:

“Social media influencers have a real responsibility to ensure that the messages they’re sending out to their followers, often very impressionable young women, are going to uplift, rather than damage. We see so many reality stars that could be using their platform to spread positivity but instead promote quick fix weight loss products that they most likely don’t even use themselves. It’s great to see women such as Jameela Jamil standing against this.

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“We wanted to create a campaign to show young women that you don’t need filters or photoshop, you’re perfect as you are. It’s fantastic to see that some influencers have already got involved and shared their unfiltered images!”

To find out more about Getaway Girls, please visit: https://getawaygirls.co.uk/