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That’s not what the app creators intended, of course, but it does make psychological sense: as they become preteens, research shows that girls’ confidence takes a nosedive.Instagram, then, is a new way for girls to chase the feeling of being liked that eludes so many of them.For example: “TBH, ILYSM,” meaning, “To be honest I love you so much.” Or, the more ambivalent: “TBH, We don’t hang out that much.To Measure How Much a Friend Likes You In this case, a girl may trade a “like” — meaning, a friend will like her photo — in exchange for another tidbit of honesty: a 1-10 rating, of how much she likes you, your best physical feature, and a numerical scale that answers the question of “are we friends? Girls hope for a “BMS,” or break my scale, the ultimate show of affection.
They can obsess over their friendships, monitoring social ups and downs in extreme detail.
Secrecy is hardly new on Planet Girl: as many an eye-rolling boy will tell you, girls excel at eluding the prying questions of grown ups. From an early age, young women learn that to be a “good girl” they must be nice, avoid conflict and make friends with everyone.
It’s an impossible ask (and one I’ve studied for over a decade) – so girls respond by taking their true feelings underground.
On Instagram, girls can project a persona they may not have time, or permission, to show off in the classroom: popular, social, sexy.
Cultivating a certain look is so important that it’s common for girls to stage ‘photo shoots’ with each other as photographers to produce shots that stand out visually.