Palatable: authenticity, identity, and social media

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Hopkins, Alexis
Jensen, Heidi J.
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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This collection of work examines the interaction between identity, authenticity and social media. Within the context of social media, the value of beauty is considered, and the influence of the makeup and fashion industries is questioned. Coming from the perspective of a young woman, this work also considers the way that social media works to reinforce the necessitation of beauty for women within our culture. The impact of social media has grown substantially in recent years, influencing the mentalities of those who use it. Idealized versions of individuals take precedence on these platforms and are encouraged by social media “influencers” who advertise the idealized self as if it were a reality. Those who use social media internalize these standards of perfection and learn to mirror them. Shame grows from an inability to meet these standards of perfection and, as a result, it becomes necessary to hide the reality of the self. These two aspects of the self, the idealized self and the self we hide, reflect the persona and the shadow aspects of Carl Jung’s model of the psyche. Jung believed that both aspects of the self must be accepted in order for growth to be possible. Together this project explores the complexities of the whole self, both the persona and the shadow, and questions the influence that social media has on the acceptance of that self.