“Stop Blaming the Media for our Body Image issues”, Is an article published by Lauren Berninger on March 24, 2014 at 01:10 pm ET. This article evaluates the body image debate and the solutions which may be effective in helping the affected. According to Lauren, statistics show that most women are dieting to attain the body shape which is flawless to them, as 92% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Sadly only 5 % of women are born with the body type which is described often by the American media. She states that it’s time for us to stop waiting for change but instead we should start acting on the change we wish to see. Instead of blaming social media for negative ideas girls have about themselves, we should stimulate parents, teachers, and community leaders to put their feet down and cover the gap which is being widened by the media, “They should be the positive role models that the media has failed to produce.” Lauren Berninger provides a wide range of solutions and ideas which can be used by the local community to help their girls. The communities should be speaking to their girls about the media and their bodies, tell them things such as; you can change the message being passed on about body image as the media is ran by people, you can decide on what you want to believe about yourself because, although you can’t really control the media, you can live the way you want to. Instead of following what the media has to show about body images, we should act fast and tell our girls, that there’s no standard measurement for beauty and it can’t be singular defined. We should inspire our girls and make them find better role models. Celebrities and people who they look up to, but don’t inspire them to inspire others positively, aren’t good role models. In summary, this article evaluates the debate of social media causing negative body image. It states that we should move past blaming social media for negativity and start helping our girls through community leaders, teachers, members of societies and etc. It evaluates solutions which could be used to help our girls with the problems they face, problems which are portrayed by the social media. This source is like a step ahead. It partially agrees that social media does play a role in negative body image but the author also suggests that the society and local members of the community play as big of a role as social media. But the source generally moves past the inquiry question and suggests that we should move on and stop judging and blaming social media for what it’s accused of, but instead we should work on treatment and inspiring our girls to help them resolve these issues.
“Media’s Impact on Kid’s Body Image: What parents need to know”, is the title of a video published by Common sense media on YouTube. This video was published on 23 January, 2015. Through a presenter known as Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media was able to render their research report about the impact social media is having on kids and to an extent parents. Common Sense Media says that the Media educates a lot about body image, what many expect is that the message the media portrays is pointed to adults but what many don’t know is that the same message pops up in a different content pointed at kids. Through social media, movies, ads and TV shows, these messages are depicted. Research done by Common Sense Media shows that 87% of aged 10-17 popular female TV show characters are below the average weight. Jim insists that this is a very strong message which may have an effect towards our kids. The Research also shows that many kids feel that their thought about body is slimmer than the natural body they possess. About half of the girls and 1/3 of the boys to be exact. The social media giants also have a huge impact on kids, as it’s so extensive, this leads to most kids and teens to spend a quality time online. Research suggests that “41% of teen girls say they use social media to make themselves look cooler than they actually are”. According to Common Sense Media, children who are more likely to feel discontented are ones who think that their moms are discontented with their bodies. This is because parents attitudes towards their own body appearance, sends a stronger negative message to their kids compared to a friend’s opinion. In short, the research done and presented by Common Sense Media discusses the impact messages spread by the media has, especially social media and the television. This video provided proper analysis about the increasing negative body image messages which are portrayed by the media and adjusted to fit in with the children media programs. This source claims that social media should be blamed for negative body image, not only to teens and adults but to kids too. Research done by Common Sense Media shows how kid’s body images are influenced by the media. Although this source focuses on media in general, it touches partially on social media and it does show the negative relationship it has with body image.
This is a picture posted by Reyna Ayala on the 24th, august 2015. This image was posted on a page known as Thinspo on Pinterest. It’s an image showing 25 weight loss tips, channeling the physical and mental health. Reyna was trying to provide friendly, healthy and easily achievable weight loss tips. Quite a good number of them have to do with food and less with exercise. She was trying to communicate to the audience which are in need of these tips, since the image was posted on a page which looks at body perfection and slimness. The page is full of images of thin waist women, adding this image to the page would make sense, since a person which follows this page is more likely to need these tips. In short, the image posted by Reyna is some type of information which is provided to help people with weight loss. It’s sort of a diet of some kind but it doesn’t have a specific number of days to do each tip. But instead it’s more like a guideline towards weigh loss. This image is just like an example that’s there to support the fact that social media can be blamed for negative image. This image shows 25 weight loss tips and it’s out there in the public. What’s concerning is that some of the tips try to encourage starvation, and malnutrition, although tip #9 says that “Never skip your meals”, some of the other tips don’t encourage healthy behavior such as avoid sugar, salt and rice. Lack of sugar and salt in the human body can cause diabetes and hyponatremia. This shows how social media is responsible for negative body image.
Rachel Simmons, a leadership development specialist at Smith College wrote an article for the Time Newspaper, in August 19, 2016. The article “How Social Media is a Toxic Mirror”, provides the professional opinion of an author/specialist about the role social media, celebrities and famous people play, regarding teenage body issues. The article explores the ways in which teens are affected by social media and the help parents can provide to their children. Rachel says that for about 10 years researchers and educational instructors have tried to prove that the worst thing about social media is the fact that teens can throw insults at each other without the regard of the consequences just for the fact that it’s anonymous. But through further research Rachel has come to the conclusion that social media is worse than that and it is more like a poisonous object which reflects back to you what you should be or look like. According to her, there is a very stiff relationship between social media and negative body image, as research suggests that there is “evidence linking social media use to body image concerns”. Teens which spend most of their time online commenting, posting or looking at photos are more likely to be vulnerable to the features in social media giants such as Facebook, snapchat and Instagram, features which enable you to compare yourselves to other people. Through updated features in these applications, teens can basically change their appearance, these features allow teens to accessorize themselves and everyone can do so, as described by Rachel it’s like “anyone can enter a beauty pageant”, meaning that everyone has the ability to change their looks, social media is the place to do it and through it people can compare each other to get acceptance for their appearance. Rachel says that because of the internet development, the times have changed and now there is an unlimited number of pictures which are available online for teenagers to compare themselves to and because of this most teens are under a belief that they can polish their beauty, they are under the belief that they can control whether to look beautiful or not. One woman said “If I could, my body would look different. But I can choose which picture makes my arms look thinner.” This shows that social media gives people the idea that they can control their appearance. Rachel gives advice to parents on what they can do or offer to their children. She tells them to ask questions and to encourage them. She urges them to tell their teens some words and statements which will offer encouragement to the teens, statements such as; “I love you just exactly as you are” and “You matter more than your looks”. In summary, The article looks at the idea of social media affecting teens in a whole different way. Rachel Simmons brings a new theory regarding the threat social media brings to teens. Through research, the article explores the ways which teens are lead to wrong ideas about self-objectification and how social media and technology has allowed teens to accessorize their own appearances to earn approval by others in social media. This source does agree that “social media can be blamed for negative body image”. The author gives her professional opinion that depicts the reasons why social media can be blamed for negative image. Through research she doesn’t only prove that social media can be blamed, she also proves how social media’s impacts are greater than many people think.