Belfast Telegraph

Is this really the best way to boost your Selfie-Esteem?

A new campaign wants to promote better body (or should that be face?) confidence by having us post hastily taken snaps on social media. But, says Katie Wright, an initiative that is solely focused on looks may end up doing more harm than good

Launched by Good Morning Britain, a new campaign asks people to take a selfie (just one, you're not allowed 10 attempts) and post it without any editing or filters using the #SelfieEsteem hashtag, then to tag a friend and compliment them.

According to the ITV show, a third of mums worry about passing their insecurities on to their children, so they want to counteract this by encouraging viewers to "celebrate your unfiltered self".

Following the unveiling, a host of TV celebs posted their own self-taken pics and singer Jamelia appeared on the programme to promote the campaign.

It was a somewhat awkward appearance, however, because a large portion of the conversation revolved around her backtracking on comments she had made on talk show Loose Women the previous day suggesting that overweight people should "feel uncomfortable" in order to encourage them to lose weight.

Not really in the spirit of the Selfie-Esteem crusade, then. And that's not the only aspect of the campaign that's problematic.

Clearly, having chronic low self-esteem can be debilitating and collectively it's something society needs to address, but using social media, a platform known to engender self-worth issues, isn't the best way to go about it.

A 2012 paper from the University of Salford, reported that Facebook users' self-esteem suffered as a result of comparing their own accomplishments to those of their online friends. Another study last year found that participants in an experiment who were set up to receive no feedback on their Facebook posts said they felt "invisible" and experienced lower self-esteem.

This suggests that people update their status in order to garner praise, and if they're not getting any, they're not happy.

Wouldn't it be better, therefore, to take fewer selfies and just stop focusing on our looks so much?

The Selfie-Esteem team are basically saying that sharing photos without filtering them into oblivion will make us more accepting of our flaws, but isn't leaving a trail of haphazard snaps in your wake only going to make you feel worse?

Especially when you're up against the faces of a load of celebs, who are on average 400% better looking than the rest of the population.

We don't need complimentary comments to feel good about ourselves. Maybe it's time to just #saynotoselfies.

Belfast Telegraph