Once in a while, social media comes up with a trend that polarises us. You either love it or your hate it, but one thing is for sure, when something begins to trend on social media, you sit up and take notice. The ‘thirst trap’ trend is one such trend. Although it is not a new trend and has been around for long, it is now that it has caught everyone’s attention.

What is a thirst trap?

Have you seen those aesthetically captured, attractive and sexy pictures people sometimes post on social media? Well, often the intention behind blessing your feed with such pictures is to get someone’s attention. You post a  sexy or inviting picture of yours and then wait for your crush to notice it. Although on social networking platforms, the picture is not just aimed at your crush but at a much bigger audience. You could manage to get a “hey” in the response to your picture from your crush who finally takes notice of you, thus the name. However, you may also garner the attention that you weren’t expecting to.

Also Read: #MeAtTwenty: What Draws Us To Such Viral Trends On Social Media?

Why we love it?

We can’t just ignore the fact that when you get a good picture clicked, you have that major self-esteem boost and you begin to like yourself more.

People try to look their best and then give their best shot at impressing someone they like. It is cute or sexy, depending on your thirst quotient and harmless. Not to mention, every time people dress up (or maybe don’t) and try to get that perfectly sexy photo, they do fall in love with themselves all over again. We can’t just ignore the fact that when you get a good picture clicked, you have that major self-esteem boost and you begin to like yourself more. So as much as these thirst traps are for other people’s attention, they are for us too because we too in a way give ourselves some attention when we look good.

Harmless and rekindles love:

Posting a picture of oneself to attract someone is pretty much harmless. When you have a minor fight with your bae and do not want to be the first one to text, you can lay a neat thirst trap. And they will be forced to text you first, clear out the issue and that is it. Even before social media came into our lives, thirst traps have been a way of seducing your partner or maybe making them jealous with all the attention that you get. Or maybe you can finally get a reply by your crush. And who knows, one thirst trap can be a conversation starter, you could get to know each other, you two can start dating and get into a relationship. Ambitious but possible.

Self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth:

Sometimes, when you work on yourself and try to get a perfect picture you feel beautiful. The results are of course, to impress others, but the procedure goes through you impressing yourself. I can’t be the only one who keeps looking at good pictures of hers and keeps feeling good!? It helps you love yourself, boosts your self-esteem and you realise your self-worth. Before clicking that picture, when you look in the mirror and smile and think “I look gorgeous”, that is the kind of self- love you never really give yourself.

Why we hate it?

Whenever a person expresses themselves through their body, they have to face moral policing, hate messaging and trolling.

First things first, it is not the trend that we hate. It is the kind of reactions such posts get and the kind of negativity these reactions create is what we hate. There are two things about social media. One, the space is full of people who do nothing but spread negativity. Two, whatever content you upload reaches everyone irrespective of where they come from and what they are going through and what is the status of their mental health. This is the thing with every kind of public platform. All you can do is give well-intended, good content to the best of your abilities. No matter how hard you try, you cannot control how your content affects anyone who sees it.

Hate messaging, moral policing and trolling:

Every time people try to control their lives, more specifically their sexuality, they have to face repercussions. Unfortunately, whenever a person expresses themselves through their body, they have to face moral policing, hate messaging and trolling. Women and the LGBTQ+ community often have it worst. There are people who are always there to tell them what they should do with their bodies and whatnot, and how everyone has to abide by their definition of right and wrong. And if you refuse to do so, they try to shame you and troll you and send hate messages. And no matter how much you try, such reactions can only be controlled to a limited extent. The only solution is to not let ourselves be affected by all this negativity.

Also Read: Moral Policing: When Will Girls In Varsities Get Freedom?

Unrealistic beauty standards:

Sometimes, when people post such seemingly flawless pictures of theirs, it sets unrealistic beauty standards for others. When a man posts his sexy six-packs body or a woman flaunts her curves, it sometimes makes people compare themselves with these flawless pictures. Moreover, even the people who post these pictures also endure a lot of pressure to make them look “appealing” and “flawless”. This to some extent could affect their mental health and lowers their self-esteem. They tend to find their worth in the number of likes and comments. This also messes up the society’s already messed up idea of beauty. Young people are expected to achieve these unrealistic beauty standards in real life when in pictures, a lot of it is just lighting, editing, and filters.

As said before it is a love-hate relationship that we share with thirst trap. The only thing I know is that people do have the right to post any pictures of themselves if that is what they feel good about. And if everyone understands this and tries to keep themselves happy, the trend is harmless.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Also Read: Must We Burden Little Girls With Our Beauty Standards?

Ayushi Aggarwal is an intern at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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