Thinspo is a word made from two words: thin and inspiration. This word is used by people, especially women, who are obsessed with being thin and draw "inspiration" from thin people. This page in Twitter contains posts of different extremely thin women praising the thin body and mocking fat people. Captions like "I don't want to be known as the fat girl; everything looks good on skinny people; to wear anything I want and still look good" on pictures with very thin women show that these people are so obsessed with this body image. However, a closer look at those statements reveals very discouraging and hurtful messages. If someone with a bigger body size views such a page, s/he will be hurt, insulted and even psychologically affected by the words. Images like these are the ones that make people dissatisfied with their bodies and create negative body images. Furthermore, people posting on this page are obviously victims of negative body image and body dissatisfaction because they are extremely thin and they are still saying they feel fat. For instance, one picture of a very thin lady had a caption: "I feel so massive today". A normal person can never say such a thing considering the size of the woman. This page proves, beyond doubt, that social media can cause a negative body image on a person due to posts and words contained thereof. To avoid this, awareness should be created in the society that everyone is beautiful and people should stop trying to make themselves look like others. Social media itself can be used to help do this job.
"Body image doesn't just happen. It's a complex phenomenon influenced by many factors, including parents, peers, and social contexts. But we know that media messages play a powerful role in shaping gender norms and body satisfaction," the article states. This means that young girls and boys are indirectly being taught what is a "perfect body" or how a "perfect" person should look like. For teenagers, it is worse because they are at the stage of worrying about physical appearance and they are now being exposed to images of "bikini bodies, six-pack abs or just-right hair 24/7". This has led kids to constantly worry about how they are perceived and they seek for approval of their beauty from social media. The article explains that kids ask people to rate them in social media, edit images of themselves and seek for advice on how to improve their online image. The article also reveals that body dissatisfaction is on the rise in the US due to social media because even 10-year-olds are on diet, trying to become "perfect". The article also recognizes that young people are active users of social media and should, therefore, be advised on how to use it positively and creatively. Parents have been called out to talk to their kids about body image and to protect them from negative impacts of social media. To wrap it up, the main idea being communicated in this article is that kids are constantly seeking approval of their body image in the media, something which leads to dissatisfaction with their appearance. Also, the media is full of unrealistic, idealized and stereotypical portrayals of body types which, give kids anxiety to look perfect at all times. Therefore, the article clearly blames social media for negative body image in the society.
This video starts by showing a model, with her natural appearance, carefully posed for a picture. Then, a make-up artist comes and starts working on her face and hair to make her look "beautiful". Furthermore, the picture is edited by enhancing some features or decreasing some parts of the model's body, creating a fake and unrealistic image. The main message of this video is that people should learn to embrace who they are and how they look like. People should stop comparing themselves to how other people look in the media or the standards of "beauty" set by the society. Daniel Webb, an autistic student, said that growing up in such a society is quite challenging due to judgment from people about her looks. However, she believes that social media can have either positive or negative impact on a person depending on how s/he uses it. If a person uses social media to share pictures, photos, achievements and chatting with friends, it's fine. The problem comes when people start becoming dissatisfied with their looks due to "perfect" images shared in social media. The video has also shared some negative experiences a few girls have been through when they talked about body image. Some have been called obese, fat and others have been told to kill themselves or that they should just die. Chrissie Anderson, a health center receptionist, shared her experience of life before social media and gave her opinion of how life is for young people today. She acknowledges the benefits of social media but she has her concerns about body image. "I think for anybody that is in your generation has to grow up with that (fashion trends in social media) and it must be very difficult because you always compare yourself..you really don't need to. Everybody is beautiful. Stop trying to change yourself....it is a wastage of time and energy," she advised. Generally, the video is trying to send a message that social media can be detrimental to body image and that everyone should stop comparing themselves to other people. Using social media positively is the key message and everyone should understand that they are beautiful and unique in their own ways.
According to the article, previous research shows that when young women are prompted to reflect on their physical appearance, they lose concentration and intellectual strength. This was proven with experiments done in the 90s. Today the condition is even worse because, through social media, girls are constantly being exposed to images of other girls' exposed bodies. What's more interesting is that girls are not comparing themselves to images of public figures as much as they do with their peers' images. As Dr. Walsh put it: "Girls are not comparing themselves to media ideals as much as one would expect, but they are making micro-comparisons to their peers. It’s not me versus Gisele Bündchen in a bikini, it’s me versus my good friend Amy in our bikinis." The more they do this, the worse they feel about their body image. Furthermore, research has also shown that when teenage girls scrutinize images of themselves or peers, it tends to be more harmful than grades. This clearly shows how harmful on one's perception of body image social media like Instagram can have on a teenage girl. The article has also discussed some ways how these negative effects of social media can be reduced. One of them is having a discussion with young girls on how social media is distracting them. A hypothetical example given by the article states: "For example, a parent could say, “Our attention is like internet bandwidth – we only have so much. When your brother is streaming a movie, it slows down YouTube. If you’re thinking about a picture you just saw on Snapchat, you can’t focus as well on the test you’re studying for. You’ll work better and faster when you have fewer distractions.” This could really work because it would make young girls seriously contemplate about the issue. The other solution is that girls should be made aware that the images they see are highly curated or staged and so they should think about that before they start making comparisons to their appearance. This would really help instill confidence and appreciation on one's body image. The article has also cautioned that boys are also affected by social media images and they too should be helped. The main idea the article tried to communicate is that images in social media make girls dissatisfied with their body image, especially when the images are of other girls in bikinis or showing off their bodies.