This source talks about the aspects that social media can lead to negative body image. According to this source, magazines and televisions are often blamed for portraying an ideal body image that causes people to question their looks and lose confidence in themselves. They make people feel ashamed of the way they look. Kelsey Hibberd from Southend intentionally kept her Facebook friends to a minimum because she knew they were the ones who wouldn’t pick on her. This made her think she was ugly and not special. Taking into account social media such as Facebook, Instagram and so many others that their use has increased worldwide can lead to body image anxieties. When people post pictures of themselves on the media, others will actually comment on how they look. Obviously, there is no way that a person is going to receive good comments without bad and annoying ones. This will cause them have a bad picture of their appearances. Such comments makes people conscious of even tiny things they have on their bodies resulting to a desire of them thinking of changing their body size and appearance at large with a simple intension of just pleasing others with the way they look. For example, Kelsey changed her hair color and stopped eating so as to reduce people’s hatred on her. The compliments about her from different people on the social media actually made her think she is not as she is supposed to be. Additionally, having a lot of online friends can make a person exposed which is a bit risky due to the reason that individuals are trying to compare themselves to others. As a result of negative thought about how an individual look results to the struggle of using cameras in smartphones that have built-in filters and effects to help enhance even the most embarrassing selfies says MP Caroline Nokes. She adds that social media has a huge effect on people’s body confidence because it can’t be ignored. The MP’s report said pressure to look good had pushed up cosmetic surgery rates by nearly 20% since 2008. All in all, I think people especially teens should develop self-awareness on how to love their bodies. This will reduce the rates of cosmetic surgery to some extent in the future.
This source explains body image as a mental representation we create on what we think we look like. It explains the ways that social media creates negative thoughts about people’s body images. The way beauty is rendered in media causes dissatisfaction as well as thoughts of negativity about oneself when those results are not achieved. Negative body image on the other hand is caused by an individual’s behavior and the way they carry themselves. From a journal of research by Chris Downs and Sheila Harrison known as Sex roles reveals that 1 out of every 3.8 television commercials have a message about attractiveness in it. They also disclosed that in about 5260 advertisements per year, 1850 of them are specifically talking about beauty. They found that body dissatisfaction is an issue mostly in adolescent and college females. This issue on how we look, have given rise to eating disorder patterns. Since most individuals are afraid of gaining further weight, they start adhering to dieting system so as to solve the predicaments on the way they look. At first, it was a problem for girls only but as years move on, researchers have realized that this is a dilemma for boys as well. Boys as young as 10 are becoming obsessed with building a muscular body physique! Social media depict a sense of beauty that is usually unrealistic and unattainable for the majority of women in society. I believe, through giving education to social media users on how to appreciate how they look would probably lessen the people's negative thoughts on their appearance. For instance, women who are into editing their photographs to increase their breasts and posterior so as to reduce the feel of negativity they have on themselves would profoundly reduce!
Magazines and televisions are believed to damage teens’ body image through the “thin ideal”. Most teens nowadays are into body image concerns, body surveillance and dieting so as become thin. Rachel Simmons, the leadership development specialist at Smith college revealed that, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat deliver the tools that allow teens to earn approval for their appearance and compare themselves to others. Researchers found out that media does not only affect girls’ body images but also boys! she added. Selfie-addicts are now able to alter their bodies in pictures in a way that is practically on par with makeup and other beauty products. Through editing teens are able to modify their shoddiest selfies. They can cover up pimples, whiten teeth, increase eyes’ size and so forth with just a finger swipe! These enables them to make their images look prettier, thinner, hotter or however they want them to appear. Most people edit their pictures without considering why they do that or what they gain. They find it fine as long as they cover their most ignominious images. All these creates illusions because they do not show reality. On top of that, teens can now fix on the toned arms or any other part of celebrities, who hawk their bodies as much as their talents because of the reason that these pictures are available over the internet 24 hours per day! Can you imagine how pictures of most people would have appeared without editing? The in-built effects and filters in cameras and smartphones bring a negative image of how a person appears to the person viewing them. Pictures of celebrities and other well-known fashionable people online inspire millions of their followers to begin exercising and dieting system with intentions of preventing excessive weight gain as well as becoming thin. I believe, no one was born ugly or created to wish to be like someone else due to the fact that everyone is unique in her/his own ways. For this reason, I conjecture that social media users especially teens, should love the way they look. Through this, people will not get easily convinced to change or edit their appearances simply because everyone would be proud of who they are.
There is a rise of a belief that being thin is everything nowadays. Images of very slim celebrities and well known people on the media inspire people to be like them. For instance, Ariana Grande’s pictures on instagram is a full motivation for becoming thin. These images makes people feel offended on their body size and therefore start working on how to prevent further weight gain. Procedures are always given to anyone who wishes to become like them. Some others who fail use photo shops to pack their faces on bodies of very thin people. This creates an impractical appearance of themselves. It's weird when you look down at yourself in comparison to someone else. In the process of becoming thin, people use a lot of methods including lifting a weight, doing yoga, avoid junk foods and so many others. Having a negative body image can also lead to developing eating disorders. There are websites devoted to eating disorders, such as anorexia, encouraging people to engage in health-harming behaviors in order to be thin. Studies have shown that just visiting these websites can lead to a more negative self-image and increase the desire to be thinner. Also, many of the celebrities and models that women and men look up to as having the ideal body have admitted to suffering from eating disorders. Having these people as body role-models encourages this dangerous behavior and increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. I guess there would be a decreased rate of people's desire to slim themselves if hospitals through government and other non-governmental organizations, would provide accessibility to either medicine or medical procedures that would help people overcome eating disorders rather than slimming themselves. Also, it's my opinion that, if the media would focus on "normal" or average-sized models and celebrities, maybe people wouldn't go to such lengths to be thin because the ideal would be a healthy body, not a thin one.