Instagram influencer Sommer Ray has enjoyed tremendous success on the platform, but has revealed some of the real pitfalls of social media and her frustrations regarding young girls becoming insecure as a result of using it.
The American fitness model has over 23 million followers on her account, with many of her most popular posts featuring workout videos and snaps of her in the gym working hard to improve.
However, while her story and mission to always get better resonates with a lot of users on Instagram, attracting millions of reactions and likes on posts regularly, she's also not prepared to duck some of the real issues that the platform is possibly having on society.
Particularly focusing on young girls, Sommer discussed potential insecurities born out of regular social media use during a post on January 9, and she's clearly frustrated by the negative impact it's having on people from this generation.
"Everyone has different battles, different insecurities, and what's sad for me – for young girls in this generation – is that social media and all these things – there's so many different things to make you feel insecure, comparing yourself, all of these different things, so I really feel for girls."
The influencer also noted that she went through some of the same feelings while growing up, where she doubted herself and was unsure about what path to take in order to grow as a person, as seen in the video below.
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& in advance to anyone whose gonna comment and say that i’m apart of the problem of making girls insecure, that’s never my intentions. my goal is to motivate & inspire only 💪🏽💛✨ #beyou ~ all new @ohoneydiary featuring @niasioux 😛 @amandacerny & i will love ya forever if you tune in anywhere you listen to podcasts 🙏🏼
According to a study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the United States, social media not only has an "enduring impact" on adolescent life, but the impacts on girls was greater in their analysis. They cited cases of anxiety, depression and cyberbullying resulting from increased screen time, as well as a lack of balance between social media and other activities among many girls.
It wasn't all doom and gloom in Sommer Ray's clip, however, as she pointed out things that can really help boost a young person's confidence, too.
"Sometimes when you're young, we all go through stages where we're insecure and feel hard on ourselves," she said. "Especially when you're young you don't even know who you are."
Ray added: "You look at yourself like: 'Who am I? I don't even know. I don't know what I like,' because you're growing. Self love and making you look good doesn't come from looking in the mirror, it's coming from the inside, going to work out to better yourself."
She will be hoping many of her fans, particularly those who are comparing themselves to others and being negatively impacted by increased use of social media, take her advice on board.