The search for orientation and their own identity plays an important role for young people. On Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, they consume the content of successful influencers and emulate their social media role models. In most cases, however, a very one-sided, highly staged image of what it means to be "beautiful" and "popular" is conveyed here. When young people are regularly confronted with unrealistic beauty, health and lifestyle ideals in their everyday online lives, this can create a great deal of pressure. The comparison with the seemingly perfect appearance and life of influencers* can lead to self-doubt and a problematic self-image, even to eating disorders.
The peer-to-peer project JUUUPORTinitiated by the Lower Saxony State Media Authority, and the advice and help platform youth.support, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, launched a joint campaign on February 8 for Safer Internet Day to educate young people about problematic ideals of beauty and self-optimization trends in social media and to encourage greater self-acceptance and self-confidence.
Tips and advice at eye level
Published was a comprehensive guidethat provides information about beauty ideals on the Internet, presents counter-movements to current trends and gives tips on how to free oneself from the pressure of having to conform to certain ideals. In addition, young people could ask questions on this topic from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Chat from the JUUUPORT scouts get advice.
JUUUPORT scout Nina asked the director of the Lower Saxony State Media Authority, Christian Krebs, some questions about the campaign topic, such as how to protect young people on the Internet from problematic content and so-called skinny coaches. The conversation can be read at JUUUPORT.
On the advice and help platform jugend.support appears a new help page. Here, children from the age of ten and young people can find tips and information on how to distance themselves from the pressure to perfect and conform on social media. As a first point of contact, the help site also puts people in touch with established advice centers that young people can turn to if they have problems or concerns.
JUUUPORT is a nationwide online counseling and education platform for young people who have problems online. Volunteer youths and young adults from all over Germany, the JUUUPORT scouts, advise their peers on online problems such as cyberbullying, stress in social media, online rip-offs and data theft, and educate students on these topics in online campaigns and seminars.
The project was initiated by the Lower Saxony State Media Authority (NLM). It is supported by JUUUPORT e.V., which includes the NLM and five other state media authorities: Bremische Landesmedienanstalt, Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg, Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen, Medienanstalt Rheinland-Pfalz, Medienanstalt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
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