YMCA’s #BeReal campaign finds that almost two thirds of young people feel pressure to look their best online

Date: 16th May 2019
Category: Basic Health and Welfare, Mental health, Civil Rights and Freedoms, Bullying, Non-discrimination


Almost two-thirds of young people (61%) feel pressure to look their best online, according to new findings from the Be Real Campaign. The alarming research also revealed that more than two-thirds (67%) regularly worry about the way they look.

In response to this pressure, this research found that more than two-thirds of young people (67%) edit photos of themselves before posting them on social media and nearly a quarter (23%) spent more than five minutes doing so, with some taking over an hour. These edits would typically include removing blemishes (11%), smoothing their skin (10%), and whitening their teeth (7%).

Less than a fifth of young people (16%) said that looking at social media positively affected how confident they felt about the way they look. When asked what could be done to change this more than two-fifths of young people (43%) said that people should unfollow accounts that promote negative messages about the way people look to promote body confidence on their social media channels.

Celebrities and social media influencers also have a role to play. More than half of young people (53%) said that celebrities and influencers sharing more realistic images of themselves would encourage people to post content that more accurately reflect what they look like in real life.

Read the full report here.