As a 21-year-old college student, I spend a good amount of time on social media. However, something I do not engage in, or try my best not to, is comparing myself to others on social media platforms like Instagram. It is tempting, but it’s destructive.
There are, however, people who use social media to compare themselves to others and tear themselves down. I can see the impact that influencers can have on people in their teens or early 20s who do this. I believe that promoting “flat tummy” or “detox teas” is incredibly harmful to those who look up to these influencers and compare themselves to them.
If a teen sees an influencer or celebrity who he or she looks up to promote a product like “flat-tummy tea” wholeheartedly, then it makes sense that those teens would be curious as to what exactly the product is and what it does. If his or her icon is promoting it, then they may think that it is a legitimate, useful product and that they should purchase it.
“Flat-tummy tea” is not useful. If anything, it is destructive—and it is even more destructive because it is being promoted by someone who a lot of people look up to.
The plain truth is that “detox teas” cause diarrhea because they are essentially very harsh laxatives. They can even result in severe dehydration and death. My question is: Why do platforms like Instagram continue to allow this to happen?
Influencers will do whatever they can to earn a little side cash, but promoting these teas is harmful.
Not only are influencers promoting a dangerous product, but they are essentially misleading innocent young viewers into believing that using these products will make them happier through weight loss and body firming. They are making them believe that they too can look like them if they buy the product.
Buying the product will only lead to a large amount of wasted money and, more importantly, severe health complications down the road.
The next time I get on Instagram and see an influencer posing with their “detox teas,” I will not think twice before scrolling past the photo or immediately unfollowing them. Anyone who’s trying to sell me something so dangerous that it could kill me is not a good “influence.”