A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows that people who spend most of their time in the social media are more likely to develop negative body image perception about themselves leading to disorders like anorexia and bulimia. The research found that social media propagates the stereotypes among teens and other users developing negative perception of their body image. This research resonates with the previous ones which published that women who use facebook for more than 30mins a day feel more concerned about their bodies as they compare themselves to many unrealistic pictures they see online. This exposure to what the research called “thin deal” lead to media users to develop negative perceptions about their bodies. The research points out the efforts of some media platforms like Instagram to take down some links where people with these disorders like anorexia come together to feel good about themselves but seems to be ineffective. Although it is true that the influence and pressure social media puts on one’s body image is big, one needs to have self control over their feeling and reaction. You don’t need to look like everybody else to be beautiful. While you’re unique in your way, you are also beautiful in your own way. So when we are blaming social media we should remember it is us who decide.
Kelsey Hibberd is the founder of Loud Education, an organization which goes around schools to create confidence to different students about their body image. Having experienced bullying herself from school and later from the social media, Kelsey feels like there is a need to prepare young kids who are new to social media on how they can handle social pressure and feel good about their body image. Social media have been the cause of discrimination on body appearance to the extent that most people use filters on the photos they take to make them seem good. Kelsey thinks this is a concern as young kids are trying their best to fake perfection and get acceptance from their peers on the social media. She believes everyone is beautiful the way she/he is and should feel good about one’s body image. Just like how Kelsey is trying to address it, the problem is not that we have social media, it is that we have the generation of exposed people who are not well prepared to handle social pressure. When an individual who is well trained to understand the differences in the way we are and avoid mob psychology gets exposed to social media wont bother to impress people by changing oneself. What is considered to be the matter of social media pollution may actually be the lack of self esteem in oneself.
This video says it all in less than five minutes. The trend which has grown up in today’s world where people fake happiness and perfection to get the attention of others in the social media. Mainly influenced by the negative perception in the social media, called “insta lie” in the video. The video presents some shots of people trying to fake their current circumstances for a few Instagram photo before posting it. This is least of what people do to be media fit for the shots they take for their pages. While it may seem like this is being done for the social media pressure, the tendency of trying to impress other people by our appearance and good looks dates back while ago when the human civilization knew no internet. Social media has just exposed the new way people get trapped and moved to deal with their body appearances but this is more of psychological problem than social media presence.
A facebook bodybuilding community page with incredible pictures of body builders who for some reasons are bigger than average. This is a good example of where people may tend to refer to when they are constructing the images of perfect body shape. Ripped muscles, abs, and big shoulders is a new definition of health, masculinity and strength. It may therefore be argued that social pages like these pull a big number of people to admire and try to be alike while making their bodies and health slide through a dangerous thorny path of try and error. But masculinity has always been involved with the pictures presented on the page for many years now. Yet not everybody wanted to join a military just because the other soldiers had a good physique and great physical appearance. It all boils down back to the lack of self appreciation and thinking oneself as a completely beautiful person without looking at others. Before we start to blame the social media for this mess we are in, we should ask ourselves how well we are prepared to handle social pressure and cope with this world full of opinions.