Instagram has a proven negative effect on women’s body image - and Selena Gomez isn’t immune.
Selena Gomez is the third-most followed celebrity on Instagram in the world. Yet the singer’s revealed she doesn’t even have the app on her phone anymore.
Dropping into talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan to promote new film, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’, the singer and actress spoke candidly about the unhealthy effect she noticed the photo-sharing app was having on her self-image.
“I used to [use Instagram] a lot,” said 26-year-old Gomez, after being asked how she managed to engage with such a huge following.
“But I think it’s just become really unhealthy for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all of these comments and letting this stuff in,” she continued.
“It was affecting me, it would make me depressed, it would make me feel not good about myself and I would look at my body differently. So I actually don’t have it on my phone.”
Instead, Gomez logs in sporadically to update herself, using someone else’s device.
The star isn’t alone in feeling as if scrolling Instagram is having a negative impact. Jameela Jamil has repeatedly fingered the app for causing a ‘low self-esteem epidemic’ and launched her I Weigh campaign to try and combat some of the damage she believes has been caused to women by impossibly perfect images on the platform.
Stats back this up; a 2018 University of Toronto study on body image found that young women who engaged with pictures posted on social media by peers they considered ‘explicity more attractive’ than themselves, perceived themselves more negatively afterwards. When the same women interacted with social media pages of a family member they did not consider more attractive, there was no change in their own self-esteem.
And Australian research also concluded that spending just 30 minutes swiping through Instagram feeds can take a wrecking ball to positive body image and cause women to obsess over their appearance.
So perhaps we all need to take a leaf out of Gomez’ book and press the Uninstall button. If you’re desperate, there’s always desktop…