By: Abigail Fritz
Social Media is the home of constantly comparing every aspect of our lives to other people. From where we live, what possessions we have, relationships we’re in, and especially our bodies.
Body Image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the feelings that take place after that perception. These type of feelings can either be negative or positive towards oneself. Social media and the amount of time you spend on social media may impact how you view your body.
An American study surveyed about 227 female college students and found that those who spend more time on social media such as Instagram and Facebook feel more distressed about their own bodies due to more comparison.
When people start comparing their bodies to other possible photoshopped unrealistic photos, this can lead to many negative mental health effects. With unhealthy mental health habits, this can be a slippery slope and can lead to health risks. According to the AAC center, an eating disorder center in Chicago mentioned that 30-50% of teen patients mentioned social media as the cause of their eating disorder.
A healthcare institution called Florida House Experience created a study that found that 87% of women and 65% of men compare their bodies to images they view on social media. With that information, 50% of women and 37% of men compare their videos unfavorably.
Now that we have discussed the fact this is an issue let’s talk about solutions we can all partake in.
- Follow accounts that promote healthy lifestyles and make sure they have credibility.
- Turn off your phone and go outside and be active.
- Don’t feel guilty unfollowing someone who doesn’t serve you.
- Speak positive about your body and avoid speaking negatively about yourself.
An app called Tik Tok has created an atmosphere of no boundaries on topics of conversation. One example I keep seeing over and over is when they do a comparison video of Instagram vs reality. These videos tend to go viral and the comments are filled with admiration for the creator of the video.
As a society and a culture, we are on the way up to confronting negative body image and unrealistic body expectations. Our generation has no problem calling upon celebrities and any influencer who promotes highly edited photos and unrealistic body expectations. Our generation has lots to say and we just need to work on how we say it.
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