Great Britain

Instagram is so bad for girls (yes, I know mine is on there)

SO, Facebook knew two years ago that its app Instagram harms young girls’ body image.

There is something sickening about the details of the 2019 internal research that was leaked this week.

The company was aware it can cause serious damage to mental health but has failed to do anything about it. 

In fact, boss Mark Zuckerberg stood in front of Congress and said that Facebook was good for young people’s mental health. That’s despite 13 per cent of suicidal girls in Britain blaming the app for their desire to kill themselves. And he knew it, because before his comment he had actually seen the research. 

It was done by his organisation and found 32 per cent of girls said Instagram made them feel worse about their bodies if they were already having insecurities. 

Unrealistic standards

It also makes body-image issues worse for one in three teen girls. And yet it continues to add beauty-editing filters to the app.

Perhaps most upsetting about the research is that teenagers know that Instagram is to blame for their anxiety and depression, and yet they continue to use it.

Full disclosure here: My daughter, inset, after years of hating social media, makes her living out of Instagram. So I know the power and positive side of it and I also know the bad side.

The key, for her, is balance. She is a naturally very beautiful young woman, who has never had any work done, eats well and looks after herself. 

She has real friends, real connections and a real life and so she’s not lost in the world of Instagram. She has had more than her fair share of trolls. But she has got to grips with it and learned to ignore the jealousy. She now agrees with me that it’s more important what you think of yourself rather than what people you have never met think of you.

Not all young women are so resilient, though.

No company is perfect. But knowing the harm it is doing to young girls in particular, Facebook’s failure to address it is shocking and cynical.

It spends more than any other Big Tech company on lobbying — almost $20million in the US alone last year — in a bid to convince the world and the politicians it is on the side of the consumer, when it is clearly not. 

It pays very little tax and won’t stump up for news content because it is focused on the bottom line above anything else.

When I was growing up, we communicated via letters, telephones or — imagine — we would just actually talk to one another. Now communication is done by screen and pictures. 

And the “better” your pictures are, the better your status and therefore the better your life.

The problem with the unrealistic images so many people post on Instagram is that such scrutiny on appearance, together with the unrealistic standards of “perfection”, encourages people to focus on the negatives and imagined flaws, rather than the many positives. 

No wonder so many young women turn to lip fillers, Botox and any other procedures that might make them feel able to compete — often with people who just don’t look like their online pictures. The problem with filters is that they mask the truth and it’s easy to become addicted to editing. 

I know someone who edits her pictures so much that if you met her in the street you would not know they are the same person.

When your self-worth is reduced to an image, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that if only you were slimmer, had a bigger bum and thicker hair, your life might be that much better. 

Maybe you’ll magically get the lifestyle, too: The perfect house, with the perfect boyfriend, driving the perfect car and holidaying in a bikini all year around. We all know, of course, that material things do not lead to happiness. But in Insta-land, that’s easy to forget.

Editing pictures to look thinner is part of the process.

When they post natural (unfiltered) pictures, they risk getting trolled: They are too fat, ugly, a slag or a bitch — all the hate words used to target women’s self-esteem. 

It’s often spiteful and always driven to make people feel bad and the bullies feel better.

What frustrates me is that Instagram has the power to stop it but chooses not to. That’s unacceptable and there should be serious consequences. 

In the meantime, we should keep our eyes firmly open about the realities of Instagram.

 Naomi’s staying power is a thing of beauty

NAOMI CAMPBELL, who is now in her fifties and a new mother, is also modelling for Calvin Klein.

In short, she still looks sizzlingly hot. She is amazing – still every inch the supermodel she was in the Nineties and it looks like she will keep going for ever, because she has true beauty.


WHAT a breath of fresh air it has been to see the brilliant, amazing, serene and classy Emma Raducanu in action over the past couple of weeks.

 She is a true tennis genius and a brilliant businesswoman. She trademarked her name within hours of winning the US Open and is a multimillionaire at the tender age of 18.

She is also the likely new face of Chanel and Tiffany, all as a result of talent, determination and hard bloody work.

 I loved the pictures of Emma and her father Ian after she made it home, having played the best match of her life with the highest stakes.

She did it without the support of her parents there to cheer her on in New York, showing true grit.

 Emma is everything a modern young woman should be, taking control of her life, owning her mistakes, celebrating her success and putting herself first.


TURNS out I was not the only one to have looked at Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala outfit in bafflement.

 Even her own sister, Kendall Jenner, did not realise the woman behind the mask and matching body stocking was in fact Kim. 

There is a hilarious snap doing the rounds, of Kim with her arms outstretched while Kendall looks at her with a confused expression during their red carpet meet-up. 

Maybe she wore the mask because she couldn’t be bothered with make-up that night. 

I have a feeling this outfit is unlikely to see the light of day again.


IT was painful to watch Simone Biles break down in tears at Wednesday’s Senate hearing.

The Olympian was recounting the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

Worse, she said the FBI failed her and dozens of other victims by turning a “blind eye”. 

These young women were abused first by their coach – and then by the FBI when they tried to report it. 

And there she was, going through it all again in front of an international audience.

 How brave they are to stand up and go through all this publicly.

But it all begs the question: What’s the point of these committees?

 And what are the politicians going to do about it, to make sure this kind of thing never happens again?

House investigation uncovers Instagram founder feared Zuckerberg would go into ‘destroy mode' over Facebook sale

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