Vanity, ego and narcissism are just a few traits that dominate the perspective on youth today. We live in a world that glorifies the negative dimensions of a female’s waist and how swollen a male’s biceps are.
Teenagers as young as 14 have gone under the knife for cosmetic surgery to correct features that, they feel, are ugly or problematic. For example, Nadia IIse from Cumming, GA, convinced her parents to finance three surgeries after years of torment from peers for the way her nose, chin and ears looked.
Though surgery is undeniably the most drastic option, young adults are willing to take other measures for the sake of self-gratification. Instead of going under the knife, young adults have gone to online media to determine their self-worth. The total number of likes, followers and pictures you have posted become your livelihood. It’s interesting to see how many “friends” like the “#selfie” that was posted without a “#filter.”
Individuals attempt to make themselves feel better about their appearance by taking a million “selfies” and then they post them on Facebook hoping to hear how great they look. But in the long run, are these self-absorbed, self-involved Snapchats of one’s CrossFit bod just another way to make the world know how self-conscious individuals really are? It seems as though we have transitioned from being obsessed with others to being obsessed with our appearances and ourselves.
Individuals also reach for other methods to feed their self-gratification fix. Online dating services have gone from people truly looking for love to young adults chasing a hookup for the night. Take Tinder for example: the free dating app exploded after Sochi Olympians admitted to using the app to look for hookups in between speed-skating and curling events. Just imagine, thousands of professional athletes staring into each other’s eyes to boost their ego, as if being an Olympic athlete isn’t enough gratification.
Perhaps society has worsened due to the “look-at-me” mentality we continue to fuel by seeking praise through every social media outlet. However, this trend will hopefully come and go, as most trends do, and hopefully a healthier idea of what constitutes beauty and self-importance will follow.